Saturday, May 31, 2014

 Thanks to all of you who commented on the my last post about how much you'd love to create large, voluminous curls.  Today, I come with ideas on how to create your own style using several different techniques.

The first thing that comes to mind when I see big curls are the Caruso steam rollers.  It's an amazing tool for generating large, healthy looking curly hair.  The next two tutorials will show you how. Click on image for video.
YouTube: Miix Mii
 YouTube: Taren Guy

Can you believe that these amazingly gorgeous curls were created using a flat iron? Click the image to find out how.
 YouTube: Big Hair Bettyy

Here's a slightly curlier version using flexi rods and a pin curl set
YouTube: Miix Mii

These are just a few ideas.  You can also blow out the roots after a roller set to maintain volume while breaking up the curls.  Another idea could be to use a large barrel curling iron.  If you are looking for volume, make sure to "fluff" out the roots. 

Hope this helps. Have fun. Stay inspired.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

If I ever suffered another setback causing me to cut off inches of hair, I will proudly display my hair, in all of it's glory, with over sized curls.  No more crying over lost length.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Ever since the loss of my beloved Babyliss Steam Iron, I've been chomping at the bits to get my hands on a suitable substitute.  Unfortunately, I can't replace the iron with an exact model so I went with plan B.  A mini steam iron was available on Amazon and I couldn't resist.  My other mini iron was missing in action and I needed to replace it.  What better than to get one that harnesses the power to steam for better/healthier results?
I absolutely love how tiny this thing is.  Not only can I take it with me when I travel but the size makes it a great tool for touching up my new growth after a roller set.  This iron can get much closet to my scalp than my regular irons.  If that wasn't good enough, it also comes with a removable set of teeth meant to help create straighter results. The teeth seem to be fairly wide which means limited damage.
Just like a full size steam iron, the Conair mini comes with a small reservoir that holds water for processing into steam.
If you look closely, you can see tiny holes which allows the steam to pass through.   The amount of steam produced actually surprised me. It was much more that I thought based on it's small size.
If you look closely, you can see the steam. Unfortunately, my camera didn't do a good job of capturing it. You can hear the water turning into steam as the iron heats up.  Pretty cool.
I think my favorite feature of all is the small carrying case that came with the iron. Again, it's perfect for weekend getaways or for putting into your gym bag, purse, whatever.  

Actually, the best part of this tiny iron is the price.  It's less than $20.00 which was an absolute no brainer for me.  If you haven't had a chance to try out a steam flat iron, this is a perfect opportunity.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Prior to the incident reported earlier this month about accident involving several young circus performers, I had never heard of hair hangers.  Apparently, these folks perform a series of acts, in the air, while hanging by their hair. My very first thought upon discovering this "how is it possible to have hair that strong?"
Off I went to find out.  There isn't much information out there but I did manage to find a few tidbits of info that help us understand how to get hair so healthy that you can hang from it.  As expected, they do have a clear regimen to keep their hair as healthy as possible. Most notably, they avoid all of the typical activities that can damage the hair such as using a flat iron, coloring, or blow drying.  

Another tip shared by the hair acrobats is to take lots of vitamins. One article I read mentioned liquid vitamins.  I suspect that liquid vitamins might be a preference because of the greater chance of absorption by the body.  Liquids don't have to engage in the digestion process which makes it readily available for maximum impact.  

Along with hair vitamins they often partake in exercise and eating "lots of vegetables."  Specifically, I remember someone sharing that they do a lot of jogging.  Sound familiar? We just talked about how exercise and eating healthy can help contribute to healthy growth.  

Anastasia IV talked extensively about her daily healthy regimen in a recent BBC article.  What was most impressive is how she conditions her hair 5 times a day while on tour.  Three rounds of conditioner are applied to her hair before her evening show.  Once in the morning, then early after afternoon. The third conditioning session takes place just before the show Anastasia washes out the conditioner leaving her hair wet as she performs. As soon as the show is over, she conditions once again which she washes out about 1.5 hours later.  Then just before bed, the hair is conditioned once more.  According to the circus star, she utilizes two bottles of conditioner a day. That and "loads of hair vitamins."  

I've never thought about conditioning that frequently but I have been known to use an entire bottle of conditioner in one pre-poo session.  The smaller I part the sections before applying the conditioner, the more product I use.  When I use more product, I notice that my hair gets stronger over time.  Frequent conditioning may not be an option but I can still moisturize and seal regularly throughout the day.  Especially after excessive manipulation.  So there you have it.  The secrets of hair acrobat performers.  Some of what they do is similar to us on our hair journeys. They take their vitamins, they deep condition. But how many of us take a truly regimented to achieving stronger hair like they do?  

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Time for another roundup of beauty secrets from the world of Instagram. Every once in a while someone on my feed will share a little glimpse of the products they swear by.  When that happens, I'm all ears.  We've been introduced to so many little gems in the past.  I can't wait to show you the next round of beauty essentials.
Miss Alisha shared a pic showcasing her lush, thick hair, thanks to the help of Delta Labs, with the following caption.
"Those of you who know me, remember my bleach blonde hair and how it was always short because it was so unhealthy! My hair has never been better.  But not only that, I'm getting great benefits with my skin. #clearskin #longhairdontcare #teamdeltalabs


By scrolling through Johanna's timeline, I was introduced to the "5 Minute Facial" mask from Rodial. Never heard of the brand before but I'm totally interested.  You all know that I adore facial masks. Especially those that claim to be facials in a jar.   Here's what Johanna had to say:

"Trying this and the acid exfoliating pads from Rodial.  Both are amazing."

Although I'm intrigued by the mask. I'm even more excited about the fruit acid exfoliating pads to keep my skin glowing.  Can't wait to try it.

Purseblog's timeline is normally filled with designer purses that one could only dream about.  When they took a moment to interrupt their regularly scheduled content to share their beauty must haves, I listened.

"Two products I can't live without. Fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish and advanced therapy lip treatment.

I'm already a huge fan of Fresh Products. Now that I think about it, I probably use more Fresh products than anything else for my skin including the Umbra Clay Mask, The Soy Face Cleanser, Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment, Exfoliating Face Wash, and the Sugar Lip scrub.  As for body polish, I'm quite happy with Tree Hut's Shea Scrub but my interest has certainly peaked.  I'll have to pick up a sample next time I'm at Sephora.

 Marianna Hewitt had wonderful things to share with us about Evian's Facial Spray.
"Summer time essentials. Water in a can sounds stupid I know, but I love this Evian Facial spray so much I carry it with me everywhere. You can use it to refresh makeup and set it.  I always travel with it because airplanes dry out my skin. Does anyone else love it as much as me? 
It gets really hot here in the summer time.  I put on my makeup before I leave the house and, by the time I get to the car, I've sweat it all off.  This Evian spray is my absolute next purchase. It will be in my bag at all times (ALL TIMES).  There's also a secondary motive for buying this.  After trying unsuccessfully to mist my hair with water via the Misto Sprayer, I see this as a Plan B. Whenever I travel, I can hydrate my face and my hair all at once.  Brilliant!

Never in my life have I heard of a probiotic facial wash until last week.  Immediately, my mind went back to the warnings Lady Dee gave me about never touching my face if I ever wanted to have clear skin.  She knew that our hands carry bacteria that can clog pores and promote breakouts. This product may be the answer to this dilemma.   

Here's what she had to say about her radiant skin cleanser. 
"One of my favorite cleansers: I've used dozens but the ones that best maintain my skin are usually natural. This probiotic enriched bar helps greatly with halting breakouts if your skin is going crazy. It also minimizes inflammation of existing pimples. Combining probiotics and cleansing/detoxifying clays this soap helps deep clean while encouraging healthy pH & bacterial balance. I've seen it work great for people with eczema as well.  #favebeautyproduct #powerofprobiotics #acne.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

photo via Pinterest
After contemplating which curly/textured styles I'd like to wear this summer, I came to the conclusion that I wanted something curlier than a braid out but tighter than beach waves.  At the time, I didn't know that such a thing existed.  Then, days later, I stumbled upon the three strand twist.

Two strand twists are tough to pull off on relaxed hair because it often lacks the volume needed to produce the intended look.  The hair has difficulty wrapping around itself tightly enough to generate a similar looks as with natural hair. That's why we tend to go with a braid out as an alternative. But what if we could leverage three strands (like one would use in a braid) but create twists with it instead?  The result would be a curlier version of a braid out.  Interested?

Immediately, I poured myself into the research of this technique by indulging in back to back tutorials. At first I was totally mystified by the whole thing.  Every time I had three strands in my hand, I automatically wanted to start braiding.  It was a bit frustrating. But, I was determined.  It wasn't until I watched my third video that I finally got it.  At last I created a twist, using three sections, on my dry hair.  And it actually stayed in place with only mild unraveling.  I know for sure this would work wonderfully on my damp hair which has more texture than it does on roller set hair.  So, I'll wait until another occasion to fully try this look. Next time I experiment, I'll twist my damp hair and while using my Keratindose, coconut oil and maybe some whipped shea butter.

In it's simplest form, the method involves taking a section of hair, splitting into three (as if you were going to braid) then taking a strand of hair on the outside and crossing it over the two other pieces. When you do this, the original middle piece of hair now moves to the outside. Then you take the (new) outside piece and cross it over the other two pieces of hair. You repeat the process until the entire section is twisted.  I am well aware that my explanation probably made no sense to you so I'm fully ready to provide visuals.

Click on any of the images below to see how it's done.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

As I stood in front of my hair product stash, last weekend, I thought for a moment about what I could do to bring some life back into my hair.  There, in the back, was a large yellow and purple bottle of Motions Neutralizing shampoo. Normally, that Motions bottle only saw the light of day after relaxer touch ups. But, from time to time, I like to leverage it's low pH levels in an attempt to create a smoother, more healthy cuticle layer.
As I stood in the shower, washing my hair, a thought came into my mind. "I wonder if there's such a thing as a neutralizing conditioner?" Can you imagine the awesomeness that could happen if my conditioner could bring pH balance to my hair and scalp every wash day?  Moments later, I was in front of the computer, hair still damp, as I scoured the web to see if neutralizing conditioners exist.

My search led me to a product called Linange Neutralizing Conditioner. Many of the reviewers were relaxed and used this product post processing. Most raved about how great it worked to neutralize, leaving the hair feeling strong and healthy.  I was sold. Not only would this come in handy after a touch up but the benefits of having a product that could "prevent calcium deposits & smooths cuticles" after relaxers could be of great value during the weekly wash as well. Especially if you have hard water or are prone to frizzy hair.

You know how Amazon likes to recommend other products it thinks you might like?  On the list of other recommendations was a Shea Butter lye relaxer from the same brand.  Again, great reviews!  Everyone went on and on about this being the best relaxer ever.  Most of the ladies described it as extremely gentle on the scalp and hair.  Sounds like a great options for those who texlax. It's actually referred to as a texturizer, not a relaxer. My curiosity peaked. Could using a texturizer to relax vs. a mild relaxer, be the next evolution in healthier chemically processed hair?

 I checked out a review video for the texturizer. The woman read off the list of ingredients and Sodium Hydroxide fell way low on the list. It was actually listed after shea butter.  I've used Affirm Fiberguard or eons and this is the first time I'm tempted to switch up. For sure, I'm getting the conditioner. And I'm about 80% sure that I'll be getting this relaxer. Anyone tried this?

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By 1104 on April 6, 2014
Verified Purchase
I stopped shampooing years ago, long before the introduction of WEN to the masses. In the black community, we refer to it as co-washing. That is when you use conditioner to cream out the dirt in your hair. I heard this tip when I was a kid, from a non-black cosmetologist giving advice to a non-black client, who had fragile hair and complained about shampoo stripping it.

The only time I have shampooed in the last several years, was when washing out a relaxer. You have to neutralize and no one gave me an answer about using acidifying conditioners as an alternative to shampoo.

Well, here it is, about 5 years later, you CAN neutralize with a conditioner, rather than a neutralizing shampoo. I used this WITHOUT follow-up with my usual neutralizing shampoo and am VERY happy with the results.

If you are not comfortable with that, you can still use a neutralizing shampoo, but you won't have to keep lathering up 3 or 4 times to try and get all the relaxer out.

The price is ridiculous but the product is good; I recommend and will likely be using this with Nairobi relaxer, since that is technically meant for professional sale so they don't offer a neutralizer with the kits.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By MsGTgirl06 on May 31, 2013
Verified Purchase
I've never used this particular product after a perm but I love it and will keep using it from now on! A+
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Kisha Maxwell on February 25, 2013
Verified Purchase
My 1st time using this relaxer system & was skeptical because I've never heard or used a neutralizing conditioner before. I must say I am very pleased with my hair it is very soft & full of body.
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By Moniphia Granston on November 23, 2012
Verified Purchase
This conditions and makes my hair smooth after a relaxer. I don't think I would revert to using a traditional neutralizer shampoo again!
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