Monday, June 30, 2008

two more weeks...

...till i update my fotki. here are a few snippets to tide you over -roll eyes HERE- so enjoy.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

body beautiful

i decided a little while ago that if i'm ever going to be one of those people who is 100% satisfied with her body, there's no better time than the present in which to start. i'm getting the hair together, my skin should be finished turning around in another 2 or 3 weeks, and my summer mission to have people asking "what's that smell" (in a good way, LOL) is on a roll - bath and body works' pearberry and victoria's secret's a slice of heaven are to DIE for. damn sales. anyway, there are a few flaws i'm not too worried about - i can't really do anything about my effed up eyesight, my stretch marks are fading over time and i'm lucky enough to have a guy who likes them, and i'm not overweight (or underweight for that matter). the problem is...i'm out of shape like hell. when i was younger my mom always thought the fact that i have sickle cell would keep me from playing sports and partaking in any kind of strenuous activity, but i proved her wrong when i cheered and did gymnastics in high school. i was in the best shape ever during cheerleading, but i kinda took it for granted most of the time. now that i am in college i feel so blah. i think i have gotten bigger from being on depo-provera, but the weird thing is my weight has only fluctuated about 5 lbs between now and my senior year of high school. i can look and see it though; my butt and thighs are a bit bigger, but i (we? ha) don't mind that nearrrrrly as much as my belly! i am 5'5" 123 with a GUT! it's soooo disgusting! not to gross you out, but i can literally grab my belly. this is the part where everyone goes "wtf are you talking about" but i know it's bad when my bf comes home from school, wraps his arms around my waist, and says "baby, what's going on here?" believe me, if i could suck the fat from my tummy and put it in my ass i would, but that costs too much and i've got things to save for, like a new car and other material things that i probably don't need but buy to make myself feel better. i'm trying to do something about it - i bought this really great baby phat monokini (shoot me) and i want to lose the belly before it makes its debut.

here comes the problem...i have no idea where to start. i thought back to my cheerleading days and i realized that most of what we did was cardio, but i haaaaate running and i don't have access to a track right now anyway. (you are out of your skull if you thought i was gonna run outside when it is 95 degrees every day.) i am working on the things i can change - my diet and indoor activities.

dietwise, it's simple; i stopped eating fast food and drinking soda as a new year's resolution and i've only cheated maybe 4 times since then, and i recently adopted a nalgene to make damn sure i'm getting my 64 oz of water a day. along with that, i have begun eating even healthier, virtually eliminating all the prepackaged foods that have been a staple of my college lifestyle. i also bought a bunch of fruits and veggies, like broccoli, carrots, celery, salad mix, peaches, strawberries, bananas, and apples. i snack a lot so i'm trying to snack healthier - oatmeal or a slice of cinnamon raisin bread in the morning, the veggies and a little ranch dip for something to munch on in front of the TV, a slice of cheese melted on some nature's own 12-grain bread if i need something cheesy (this stuff is good but usually costs like 3 bucks...can you believe i found some at dollar tree?!), pretzels or popcorn (just not the whole bag anymore) for salty cravings, and jello with whipped cream for my sweet tooth. it's working really well as of now, and there is enough variety there where i can go for a while without repeating anything. i HATE eating the same things over and over again!

i haven't done too much about my activity level, since what i really want to do is hit the gym and get on the elliptical or treadmill for 45 minutes. i have those available at school, but home is a different story. therefore, i will be doing yoga till august. perhaps by now you have realized i am way too cheap to be paying for yoga, but i came across this great channel that apparently we have had all along called FitTV, and they have yoga for free. (there really is something on TV for everyone.) namaste yoga is a half-hour long show that i have been working out along with for a few days now and i really like it. i am slowly regaining my flexibility, which i discovered i lost when my thighs started burning, and it's a great relaxation technique, which helps when i am super stressed. sure, some of the poses are hard (that crane is a bitch and a half), but i am a beginner in every sense of the word and i expect that they will get easier, just like doing all that running did back in high school. it's a low-impact way to get back in shape, and i'm so happy i discovered this cheap but effective way to get my body back.

hopefully i will be able to say in a few weeks that i see some semblance of a six-pack (three-pack?) coming back. if not, at least i will feel healthier. that's a start, right?

love it or hate it: suave tropical coconut conditioner

now that i cowash a lot (and the buy nothing challenge is over) i can start experimenting with different conditioners. i am always on the hunt for products that will give me everything my hair needs, and now that i have a solid regimen this is getting easier. i have a staple cowash conditioner, VO5 strawberries and creme, but i keep hearing that suave tropical coconut, organix vanilla silk, and herbal essences hello hydration are awesome and get the job done well. on my trip to family dollar (it's in walking distance from my house - worst move EVER) i picked up a bottle of VO5 S&C, since it's only 80 cents, and i saw the suave tropical coconut sitting right next to it. awesome. it was 20 cents more, but that only made it a dollar...not bad by my standards. the bottle is kinda sleek as well...not that it matters if the product inside it sucks, but that means i can fit more in my shower.

the actual test came yesterday, and upon squeezing it in my hand i was pleased to notice that it is of a thicker consistency than VO5. it took less of it to coat my hair, which means that maybe i can go through the bottle slower. the scent is not as noticeable as with the VO5, but this could be a good thing, being that it won't interfere with whatever else is in my hair (or on my body). my hair dried really nicely and i had another good hair day yesterday.
verdict? love it. the family size (i dont know why they call it that, it's only 7 oz larger) is only about 50 cents more at wal-mart and that is an expense i can afford once or twice a month. now i have two conditioners i can rotate. unless i start liking this one more...hmm...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

in (heart) with my hair!

i mentioned that i am on this VO5-as-a-leave-in kick. last time i tried it i used the vanilla mint tea and had the softest ponytail in the world. well today i tried it again with my lovely S&C, taking the denman and the nylon ponytail holder into the shower with me to do a ponytail - then like every random decision in my life i switched it up and did a WNG. i have no words to describe this - i have been searching for a product (or two...) that gives me softness, curl definition, body, and an end to this godforsaken shrinkage, and i got all of that and more. i was kind of scared to not use anything else on my hair: oil, baby buttercreme, gel, noodle head, but less is definitely more. it is so great to actually have hair that doesn't look like a TWA; what's the point of wearing loose curls if everyone thinks it's a bush? on top of that, i can shake my head and something MOVES! this is amazing! it's actually really funny, i kinda let it dry however it wanted without any molding or anything, and i have this one 3c curl on the left side that just sticks out and does its own thing. people probably thought i was crazy for letting it do that, but it was so cute. i make it sound like an unruly child, LOL! i'm in a state of bliss right now. and for you pic junkies, i will post some - i mean i HAVE to. this is amazing!

i will probably do it again tomorrow (unless i go out early; i want it 80% dry before i go out cause i hate seeing people in public with wet hair) but if not i will moisturize with my GD/water spritz and seal with EVOO. because i am eternally experimenting, perhaps i will use the EVOO even if i cowash; i will just wait until it is about 50% dry. i just can't believe it: who knew the secret to a perfect WNG was an 80 cent bottle of conditioner?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

summer 2008 regimen.

yeah, so i was inspired by SouthernTease and i am jacking her idea to update my regimen with what i will and will not do this summer. i am a firm believer in KISS (i got the badge to prove it, lol) and although i am a serious PJ (less of one thanks to the buy nothing challenge) my regimen this month has been very simple, and i don't use half the stuff in my BSS on a rack anymore. my hair is thanking me, and this makes me want to stick with it.

the routine:
  • cowash every day or every 2 days with VO5 (strawberries & creme, vanilla mint tea, kiwi lime squeeze) or suave tropical coconut
  • DCW (deep cowash - DC and rinse out with water only) twice a week with lustrasilk or kenra mc; add honey, EVOO, and shea butter for extra oomph
  • leave in cheapie conditioner, only squeezing out the excess water
  • OPTIONAL: seal with EVOO or africa's best herbal oil
  • if putting in a ponytail, brush back with denman and use nylon bands
  • use shower comb and denman to detangle once a week
  • shampoo once a week with CON; once every 2 weeks with suave daily clarifying shampoo
  • for second day hair, moisturize with miss jessie's baby buttercreme or conditioner/water spritz, then seal
  • take onesource hair/skin/nails formula every day
  • sleep on satin pillowcase; with satin scarf and/or bonnet if needed
  • eat more whole grains, fruits and veggies...and keep drinking 64oz of water every day

the no-no's:

  • low to no direct heat till length check on flat ironed hair scheduled for july 31st
  • no more trimming till i'm at least SL!
  • no combing or brushing dry hair!

it looks more complicated now that i have written it down but basically i am cowashing and airdrying the entire summer. no scalp massages, oil rinses, growth aids, ayurvedic hair care, or whatever some people swear by. someone said that children have such long hair because it gets washed and braided, and i agree. my sister's breakage has disappeared ever since she requested to go natural and keep it braided up. in addition, some of my hair idols do this, namely curlybear (GoingNatural on LHCF). she has the exact head of hair i crave. the good thing about a stable regimen is that it can take you through any hairstyle - puffs, WNGs, twists, and the kinky twists that i *still* plan on getting. already i am in love with my hair.

Monday, June 23, 2008

making a moisturizer...

i just spent the last hour procrasinating...i'm supposed to be scraping paint off the doorways of my house so i can repaint them, but stuffblackpeoplehate is the funniest blog ever. LOL!

nine hours later...
ok, i stopped procrastinating and scraped the darn paint. now i can get back to what has really been on my mind the past few days: i want to make my own moisturizer. sure, i have moisturizers that work well, namely leaving in my VO5, but even with this i feel like my second day hair is really crappy and dry for some reason. now that i don't have to worry so much about something that will work on my transitioning hair, this is what i'm thinking:

glycerin + aloe vera gel + distilled water + VO5
i've heard a lot about these things being the ultimate moisturizers, namely glycerin and AV gel, since glycerin is a natural humectant anyway and draws moisture into your hair. unfortunately i can't buy the first two till july, but perhaps in the meantime i will empty the spray bottle that has "detangler" in it (i don't know WTF it is really) and just combine the VO5 and water. hopefully i can find something that works on my mom's hair too since she hates the bb oil moisturizer.

michelle is the new laura

i generally try to stay away from blogging about the current president (i feel there are no words that can explain the way i feel like a roll of my eyes) but i often become excited when i think of what is to come. barack is so eloquent...sadly this reminds me of when one of my football player bf's professors told him he "spoke very well" (insert grimace), but it's true. i don't know if he writes his own speeches or not (sue me) but they are so quotable, so memorable, LHCF sig-worthy. LOL! and michelle...oh, don't even get me started on her. she reminds me of my mother in so many ways - beautiful, funny, flyy. so many first ladies are arm candy more than anything else, but she is not afraid to show that she has a mind of her own. honestly, what other first lady (besides hillary) is so amazing that she has hecklers of her own?! i love it.

now the REAL point of this entry: i was doing the blog roll this afternoon and got to afrobella, a really well-written blog that i have neglected to visit for the past three days or so (sorry!), but that made her entries that much better to read. an entry of hers from the 20th celebrating bella bloggers (check it out here) mentioned, and i decided to check it out. on afrobella's recommendation i read the post entitled "On First Ladies Named Michelle" and was blown away. not to sound facetious but i have always considered myself a pretty worldly person, but i learned a lot (and admittedly felt a bit embarrassed for not knowing before) about these lovely ladies named michelle who just happen to be first ladies. they all have something in common: not only are they happily married to some pretty powerful guys, but they hold their own. another michelle that i now admire is michelle fenty, first lady of the district of columbia. can you say fierce? she is gorgeous, and unlike many women she is not afraid to talk about her favorite clothing labels and the like. this chick rocks.

if there is another michelle that you wanna shout out, please let me know. i really think it's a funny coincidence. i am off to read up on the michelles of the world - there is a great list of related articles at the bottom of her post. enjoy!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

buy nothing challenge: recap

as many of you may know i talk about a lot of products because i am in the buy nothing for june challenge on LHCF and i technically can't buy any of them, including the coconut oil and avocado that i want so bad. i began by rationalizing these things, like saying "if mom buys it it's ok" or "everyone in the house is gonna end up using it..." but even that got old. now it's just plain "a week won't kill me", and it's a great feeling. sure, i still spent money on other things (VS semi-annual sale, anyone?) but compared to the list of hair stuff i bought in may this month was smooth sailing.

i did mess up the day i went to bath and body works and i bought some warm vanilla sugar conditioner, but i took it back. yay me. i had that nagging feeling like "my bf will love to smell my hair" but the realization that i can just get it on july 2nd made returning it a lot easier. then i realized...i don't need it. VO5 smells good too and more than likely my first purchase will be hair for my kinky twists and i don't think he would want to smell those. the man is a fan of LONG hair, and even the news that i BC'd threw him for a loop. if he saw it he might cry. now i'm not one of those girls who really cares (sorry babe) but being that i see him bimonthly anyway, by the time i see him again AFTER next week i will be back to APL and he can touch my hair till kingdom come. warm vanilla sugar will be great for when it starts to get cold outside. hehe. back on topic. this challenge has been great for the PJ in me. forcing myself to tell myself (yeah i know) that i can't buy something is so much easier than saying i shouldn't buy it. sure there have been some posts on LHCF where rite aid and big lots have some sort of outrageous deal on hair care products but i was able to shun them. well, read them, cry, then shun them. i am almost out of VO5, as in i am seriously forced to ration the S&C as a leave-in, and i don't even want to buy that. i'm lazy now as far as buying stuff which is grrreat. all i'm getting is some kinky twist hair (shoulda got it before this challenge so i didnt have to wait a month but whatever), some more VO5, and maaaybe some coconut oil. my miss jessie's baby buttercreme is almost gone and i hate the price but if i cant find anything that good (not even raw shea butter is that good IMO) i will be repurchasing it. and that's it. seriously.

ETA: obviously i lied. i forgot i am almost out of lustrasilk, and i want a conditioning cap so i can leave this dag-on hood dryer in the closet till october. its too hot for this, but i love the way my hair feels after a DC with heat!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

searching for the perfect WNG!

all this time (well, if you can consider 5 days a lot) i have been looking for different things in my WNG: first it was just a regular one, then i looked for something to give me curl definition and combat the frizzball at my crown, and now it's bouncy curls. i mean that right-out-the-shower bounce that i can never seem to capture when my hair is dry. i had a lot of fun shaking my DC-soaked head in the mirror (lustrasilk + EVOO, if you were wondering) and watching my curls bounce. then i realized: what was the reason why i can't get this on dry hair? could it be the same reason my hair bounces when i get a blowout but i can't duplicate it at home? if so, i believe my answer is simple: product level. today i ix-nayed the VO5 leave in (i only have a bit left so i'm using other things till the end of the month when i can buy more) in favor of HE LTR leave-in on towel-dried hair via the turbie twist. after becoming used to soaking wet hair my hair felt really dry after removing it but still moved and all. (maybe i will leave it on fo 5 min max next time.) movement was still there. i then sealed with raw shea butter and i think the problem lies here: maybe i used too much? possible; i'm heavy handed. maybe shea butter itself is just heavy? uh, that could be it. the baby buttercreme may still be the way to go on this one. i put the noodle head on after that and here is where the movement REALLY ceased. my helmet is soft but it doesn't move...hmm. gives me something to work on i suppose.


tonight was hair night for the women in my house...oh my bad, that means i did the hair of the women in my house, myself excluded. (i got the whooooole day tomorrow to mess with my hair.)

MOM: transitioning 4a, fine strands. prepoo with pantene r&n conditioner for color-treated hair, just to use it up (2 hrs no heat)/conditioner rinse with VO5 vanilla mint tea (no way she's getting my last drop of S&C!)/spray on diluted GD/section off and apply noodle head/make twists for twistout. i put sponge rollers minus the sponge on the like straws, but it's all one piece, no bobby pins necessary. (i have to find the person on LHCF that i got this from! i love it!) her hair wasn't as soft as i would have liked but then again she prepooed without heat and i didn't do a DC. it was 11pm and she wanted to go to bed so maybe i can convince her to let me DC her hair on fridayish when the twistout gets old. i noticed her natural hair is longer than i thought...her hair does not grow as fast as mine and she has done a few random mini-chops so i thought if she BC'd her hair would be really short. this isn't the case, and she is getting closer and closer the more she thinks about the greatness that is the wash-and-go.

SISTER: transitioning 4b, coarse strands. i did a mini-chop tonight since she is 80-90% natural except for at the crown. prepoo with pantene r&n conditioner as well (3 hrs no heat)/shampoo with CON blue label/DC with magic mix* (30 min with heat)/add miss jessie's baby buttercreme/twist for twistout. i really want to do a rod set on her with these teeny tiny rods but i am still testing her patience. the dryer is what would kill her.

*EDIT: she's not transitioning anymore, i decided to go ahead with the perm rods so i cut off the relaxed parts in the process. yay for the BC! it took 6.5 packs of the small blue rods...and a few hours. i think i made the parts too big, since i really think i can get her hair straighter than i got it.

*magic mix: i dont know WHAT i was thinking but this is the best concoction ever! all measurements are approximate.
1 tbsp honey - 1 tbsp EVOO - 1 tbsp raw shea butter - 2 big squirts kenra mc. microwave it all for 20 seconds; apply liberally with applicator brush. you may need more if your sister's hair sucks up product like a camel goes to water. rinse and touch over and over and over again till she yells at you for putting your hands in her hair. smile.

dude, where's my regimen?

right before my BC i cowashed...but i didn't repeat again till monday morning cause i was so busy playing in my curls. i love the coils in the back of my head. the bad news is i am almost out of strawberries and creme in only enough for one more CW. (gasp) i have that kiwi crap and the vanilla mint tea, and i love the smell of it but its got nothin on strawberries and creme. i will repeat in the morning, cause as much as i used to hate wet hair it is FABULOUS in the summertime.

my new thing is experimenting with curl definition, so this is what i came up with so far:
FRIDAY - cw/spray on diluted GD/seal with miss jessie's baby, major shrinkage. i had a crimpy/curly fro by saturday. i rocked it too, cause i'm cool like that. haha!
MONDAY - cw/leave in VO5/seal with raw shea butter/run garnier fructis curl scrunch gel through hair. i had hard curls but they were springy...and very little shrinkage!!! unfortunately it wasn't full like i like it.
TUESDAY - i ran baby buttercreme through my hair only; no water or anything. i then finger fluffed it. FINALLY! my hair is soft and still springy and it took four days from the BC to get here. i now know what i can do, at least if i can't find anything better.

tomorrow i will try the noodle head...i used it on my mom's twists in an attempt to duplicate the "twists 101" tutorial on since i dont have any curly pudding and it DID make the twists hard. maybe it does hold hard...i will find out in the morning. (side note: i hope her twistout is ok...the braidout i did on her was wonderful except her ends are really thin.) oh well, if it does give me helmet head i can just loosen it up with baby buttercreme (i hope). man i'm gonna run out of this stuff....i love it so.

*necessary re-ups for july: miss jessie's baby buttercreme, VO5 strawberries and creme. that's it.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

and not a drop to drink.

i'm sure we've all heard a great deal about how water is good for this, and water is good for that. it's pretty common knowledge that you should drink a lot of water, especially if you are in poor health or it's just really freakin' hot outside, and that it doesn't hurt in the battle for long hair and great skin. however, did you know that water can actually cause hair loss if it contains certain contaminants? i read a really great article tonight that makes me want to wash my hair in nothing but bottled water (well, either that or get a shower filter). according to this article, selenium (from petroleum runoffs), mercury (found in seafood), and lead (from old pipes) could all be possible culprits. of course, there is an ad for a purification system underneath, but i'm sure any shower filter could do. one that i have heard great things about is the sprite shower filter, and i have even heard hair enthusiasts rave that they could feel the difference when washing their hair with this water. for 40 bucks, i could be swayed.

in the meantime, i'm broke, so i must look at cheaper alternatives until my family completes our move to georgia. while a clarifying shampoo can remove product buildup, a chelating shampoo can remove mineral deposits from your hard water. ever the product junkie, i have looked into a few (although i can't buy them...thanks 'buy nothing' challenge!), and the two that i really want to try are ORS creamy aloe shampoo and its more expensive alternate, kenra clarifying shampoo. i am a fan of the kenra line (their moisturizing conditioner is my #1 boo) so this may be the one for me. of course...bottled water is only 50 cents a gallon...

clearly i have some things to think about. in the meantime, i am off to prepoo. is it wrong to look forward to wash night? LOL!

sweet as honey.

now that i can finally use all these funky curl-defining products in my stash (i did a WNG today! it was great!) i am looking for the miracle thing. i own noodle head, which is supposed to be really good, the gel route is quite interesting, and today i used my diluted GD and miss jessie's baby buttercreme. it worked nicely, but i need something for those days where i am low on my stash and wanna get by on something else. i also want definition - i felt a little fuzzy towards my crown by late afternoon. this is where honey comes in - i have heard from quite a few people, like ladylibra and pokahontas, that it is a great curl definer, and the reviews just keep building as i search. here is the latest recipe i have come across, courtesy of an LHCF thread on WNGs:
"...a honey rinse will make the curls POP! 1T honey in a cup of water after cowash. Do not rinse out."
so why not try it? what a great question! i will report back with my findings in a few days. i am searching for more concoctions as well...wish me luck!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

cut it out!

well, no better day than friday the 13th to do the BC, right?

i got sick of the breakage and i'm soooo indecisive that i just cut it off. it's my mom's fault; i cut off a small piece in the back just to see how it would look and she was all "ok, now let's do the rest." i had to get it overwith before i chickened out. the majority of the pics are in my fotki but here is a new comp shot:

now that i have a new haircut i have new hair goals. whether i make them or not is yet to be seen, although i noticed i am still collarbone length in some places, SL in a majority. stretched, of course.
APL by my 21st bday (10/13)...BSL by graduation (5/2009)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

fotki rating?

i dunno what a rating is all about...but i just noticed i have one and a half stars. LOL!

breakin' loose

i keep coming back to this breakage issue because it is really plaguing me. i don't want to cut my transition short at 12 months because i really want to see if i can get to APL by the end of this year, but finding the hairs (some short, but it's the longer ones that bug me) on my shirt and in my denman make me want to grab the scissors! -sigh- i have heard quite a few long term transitioners lament about this issue and most have done one of two things: get it out of sight or chop it off. my motivation to not cut is july 1st, when LHCF's "buy nothing in june" challenge is up and i can go buy the kinky twist hair i am dreaming about. but even with that, the mind of a libra is so indecisive: why not get a curly weave, like i have seen on her, or some simple two strand twists like these? (yes...i am an avid fotki stalker!) so many styles, and the thing is for the last option all i need is time, but i'm such a procrastinator that by the time i decide on something either it will be july or i will be bald! i need options...and money...and maybe a coin to toss. hopefully i can look back on this next week and say "hey, i did something about it!", but until then a bun it is.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

new skin regimen

now that my hair is doing a little bit better i am able to focus on another problem so i don't obsess over it so much. the skin that used to get me compliments in high school for being flawless has turned on me with a vengeance. a nasty one, mind you. i have tried lots of stuff - proactiv, retin-a, over the counter stuff and what not, with minimal results. for about a month or two i have been using the oil cleansing method (OCM) and it has been ok but i still have a few persistent blemishes that refuse to leave me alone. so what is a girl with good health insurance to do? use it! i went to the dermatologist today, a really nice guy who i like even more because the product samples are free-flowing. no seriously, i left with a grocery bag full of stuff. i got some things i have heard of before, but also one that i had no idea what the heck it was, so along with my new regimen i will post what i found on it.

morning: rinse with lukewarm water.
evening: apply honey/EVOO/baking soda mask. followup with ACV/water/lemon juice toner. moisturize with shea butter.

morning: wash with facial cleanser or moisturizing soap (olay, dove). followup with clindamycin pads. use moisturizer with spf (currently purpose with spf 15). doryx tablet.
evening: wash with facial cleanser. apply thin layer of retin-a micro. moisturize with shea butter.

honey: excellent antibacterial that kills germs that cause blemishes in the first place.
baking soda: exfoliates to remove dry skin. also dries up some blemishes. very inexpensive.
ACV: used as a toner. kills off acne causing bacteria, balance your skin's pH, and absorbs extra oil on your skin.
lemon juice: rich in citric acid; good exfoliant. also lightens hyperpigmentation. best used with a sunscreen.
clindamycin phosphate: inhibits bacteria protein synthesis at the ribosomal level (the site of protein synthesis). basically, it is an antibiotic. can cause itchy/peeling skin.
doryx (doxycycline): oral antibiotic. may swell your baby's forehead if s/he takes it. don't ask.
retin-a micro (tretinoin): loosens and expels whatever is clogging your pores in the first place. less irritating that regular retin-a, which made my skin peel really bad. wish i had known that before i got my eyebrows waxed.


i have taken before pictures, and will compare them to the pics i take when i go back to the derm in 6 weeks. you don't get to see them now, i'm not crazy.

getting those edges

i would like to preface my rave by stating that i have a serious case of halo head. i mean, i dont know what it is, but there always seems to be an ethereal glow around me, and it's only because of my hair. LOL! i have tried many things to get rid of it, cause there is nothing i hate more than smooth silky hair with a frizzy hairline. i do a lot of fotki stalking and last night i came across a really great tutorial by Chicoro on how to lay those edges down. many people use gel, including me, but when i do it my hair usually feels hard or crunchy. using this one (i don't know if it's because of the layers of product or what), i am happy to say that today i am no helmet head! i'll post pics later. in the meantime, check out her tutorial here.

btw, she has a great head of hair. kind of a "duh" statement, but anyone who has tutorials to show how they GET that great head of hair gets an extra vote from me.

EDIT: here's how my edges came out.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


a lot of people having been asking me what i use to moisturize my hair...i dont know if this is for GP or if they really think my hair is well-moisturized. while i do say it's a LOT more moisturized than it used to be, i still don't have that 'swang'. (i only get that from the dominicans.) there are a couple different products i use that i attribute this to.

  • lustrasilk shea butter cholesterol. a pretty good basic moisturizing DC. i bought it because it was inexpensive; i use it cause i like it. the plus side is it's on sale for $1.49 at sally's through the end of this month! i sometimes spike it with EVOO or my herbal oil but last night i just used it straight. great on my sister's coarse 4b hair as well as mine. gotta love the versatility.
  • kenra mc. now i have not tried redken products (which are supposedly the holy grail of moisturizers) but this stuff is really great. i got a little sticker shocked when i saw it ($27 a bottle?!) but the fact that it was on sale thru the end of may at trade secret @ 2 for $28 made it hurt a little less. the fact that it works so great really softened the blow. i WILL be buying this again. i like it spiked with john frieda color glazes...leave this combo on for an hour with heat and your hair will rejoice.
  • thermasilk spray leave-in/detangler. when i first came across LHCF i searched through my already large collection of hair stuff and found this. i used to use it a lot but then i stopped washing my own hair my first year of college. it gets the job done i suppose but i am more a fan of creamy leave-ins.
  • HE LTR leave-in. this is what i bought when i first decided i needed the aforementioned creamy leave-in. smells really good and works well. unfortunately i may not be buying it again. why not? keep reading below...
  • giovanni direct leave-in. heard so many fabulous things that i stopped by whole foods the last time i was in charlottesville and picked up a bottle. man, everyone was right. the first time i used it was on my mother's rollerset...i used a dime-sized amount on a section of her soaking hair and her curls came out lovely and for the first time NOT DRY. i bought a spray bottle and diluted some, 2 parts water and 1 part GD, and i use this when my edges get frizzy and smooth them with my denman. love it! i also use this mixture before i blowdry.
  • "shea oil" mix. i read of the wonders of shea butter on hair and skin and bought 8 oz of it on ebay. lets face it, all the stuff in wal-mart that says "with shea butter" has such a small amount of it. i read an article on LHCF about whipping it with oils and i tried it with an electric blender. i should have melted it first because it is grainy, but all i have to do it rub it in my hands for a few seconds to melt it. no words can describe it - i love it. this reminds me, i need to blend up some more.
  • castor oil. i use this on my ends when i baggy, on my hairline, and on my skin after cleansing. i really like it, especially in my baggy. my hairline does look like it is growing in thicker but i will not be able to assess this for another month or two.
  • EVOO. i use this sometimes in my DCs, all the time with the OCM, and as i mentioned in my shea oil mix. what a gem.
other stuff
  • sabino moisture block. get a sample quick is all i can say. the thread on LHCF is sooooo long, but read it and you will find you have stumbled upon a miracle. it eliminates the frizz, severely limits reversion when i flat iron, and seals in whatever moisture you put in your hair. i will take some pictures of my ponytail today without MB and tonight i will use it and take pictures of my ponytail tomorrow. i know the difference can be felt, but now i want you guys to see it.
  • miss jessie's baby buttercreme. got a heluva deal on this on the LHCF exchange board...a very nice lady bought it and did not like it so she sold me an almost full 8oz tub for 10 bucks, shipping included. beat that,!!! i had been wanting to try this for a while but it was just too expensive. i used it on my sister's hair after washing and drying it in prep for the yarn twists, and it softened her hair right up. what's more, she actually had CURLS. glad she didn't see it, she would live for WNGs. not saying this is bad but i'm planning on growing her hair out for at least the rest of the summer so i can prove to her that her hair CAN grow.
  • bb oil moisturizer. i came across this in the craziest way...i was cleaning up my BBS-on-a-rack and at the moisturizers level i tossed everything with mineral oil and petrolatum. optimum oil therapy, pink lotion, and some cheapie stuff my mom bought from the dollar store. i fully expected this stuff to go till i read the ingredients...i tried it and have not looked back since. i was equally surprised that lots of people on LHCF like it as well. go figure.
i think this is a pretty good list...if i think of anything else i will add it. if you have tried any of these and have a love/hate relationship going on with them, let me know. HHG!

look what i made!

just a little slideshow of my progress from april to now.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

suppressing the PJ inside

i've been sitting with this lustrasilk shea butter cholesterol DC in my hair since 6:30. it is now 11. the first three hours were by choice (sort of, i got caught up watching Law and Order: SVU) but this is a bit ridiculous; the bathroom is being hogged! (on a positive note, my curl definition is off the chain right now. i should let DC dry in my hair more often!) normally i would just rinse out in the kitchen sink but that's not an option right now. so what do i do? blog, of course, to pass the time.

even though i am on LHCF's "Buy Nothing In June" challenge, i still find it hard to pass a BSS without entering. case in point, today mom and i drove up to my apartment to move some stuff (pretty much for nothing, but that's a different story for a different blog) and on the way back i convinced her to go look at some kinky twist hair with me (well, for me, but she didn't need to know all that). she even reminded me i wasn't supposed to buy anything for my hair this month, so since the jig was up i told her she could be a sweetheart and get it for me. well, she's not so sweet cause she didn't get it, but at least i know the janet marley braid hair is $5.99 over there. it's ok, i have 3 weeks and 10 more BSS's to try before the challenge is up. i can look if i don't touch, right?

another thing i have really been feenin' for is more hair accessories. i break more and more hair clips every week and lose so many bobby pins it's a crying shame. i started a "natural buns" thread on LHCF and there are so many cute hair accessories in there! one i'm really diggin' is the flexi8 clip. some of them are really cute, but other ones are kind of "my hair is recklessly long" looking. you know what i'm talking about. oh, and don't get me started on the mane clip. just take a look at SouthernTease's SJP-inspired bun that she made with that thing and a human hair weft. can you say fabulous?! i'm so excited for my transition to be over so i can do all sorts of funky stuff with my hair...cause bunning and flat ironing are ok and all but i am so anxious to bite some of these styles. one day i will have to publish my hair inspirations folder so everyone can see exactly who i'm diggin.

-sigh- now the bathroom is clear and i can rinse this conditioner out. here's to healthy hair.

Friday, June 6, 2008

the truth

this stuff as a leave-in? pretty darn good. i haven't been running my fingers through my hair all day since it is up in a bun, but i know i've been smelling like straight strawberries all day. that herbal essences leave-in may not get repurchased unless it magically goes on sale for 79 cents or something. try it.

where i am

if you have read the blog(s) below you will know where i am in this whole hair thing; i mean it's only been about two months since i stopped letting my hair do its own thing. not to say i looked a HAM, but i never retained TOO much length (unless you consider SL long). well look at me now. hopefully i can come back to this pic in august and laugh at myself for being amazed by this. i have a pretty simple regimen (see below and my fotki for all that) so i guess this qualifies me as a KISS (keep it simple sista). i don't ask for much - just a beautiful mane of hair! all the "what ifs" constantly float around in my head...what if i hadn't begged for that perm, what if i hadn't cut/colored so many times, what if i had not been neglectful so many times! trying not to focus on those's all inconsequential. what i CAN focus on is where i'm going now, or at least where i am trying to go:

APL by 8/25/08
BSL by graduation, 5/16/09

is that too much to ask?

in with the old.

i figure the proper way to start a blog is by bringing in all the stuff i've been talking about that made me want to get a real blog in the first place. while i do a bit of talking about my life, it's not really that exciting right now so i talk about my personal struggle to get from being a sassy spoiled mooch to a classy sophisticate. this may take a while.

i will try to deal with the more superficial stuff in here: my hair and skin. gotta look the part, right? here are all the blogs from my fotki page (

june 5 wash journal

DC on dry hair, kenra mc/jf color glazes. 20 min w/o heat, 20 min w/ heat.
co-rinse with VO5 strawberries and cream; also used as leave-in.
bunning under satin scarf overnight.

i have never used the VO5 as a leave in but i have heard rave reviews about this. like i need to do it...i have giovanni and the HE LTR, but what the hey. i am also trying the "lay down edges with satin scarf" thing...two things to cross my fingers for.

oh, and i changed my mind...i am starting bootcamp TONIGHT! still have not decided what i will do to my hair for my bestie's baby shower later this month...perhaps a nice twistout if i have perfected them by then. i foresee many more co-washes in my immediate future, and that means more opportunities to practice!

i am switching over to blogspot soon, as soon as i come up with a good name for my blog. i do too much writing for fotki to keep up. lol



no but seriouly without the yelling, i read the related threads and had no choice. have you seen brownsugarflyygirl's progress pics from last year?! plus it sounds really easy and i can incorporate it with the other two challenges i'm on, DC and APL08. i mean, no direct heat? doing that this month anyway. DC with every shampoo? do that already. protective and/or low-mani styles? that's all i do when my hair is not flat-ironed...i mean come on. piece of cake, right?

...we'll see. starts june 15th for me only because i have not decided when i am going to wash this straight style out. (haha wasn't i just saying the other day i was sick of it? i'm so fickle...)

p.s. used some old suave shampoo we have from before we started giving a damn about our hair as body wash tonight. i smell like shampoo. lol

p.p.s. i wish everyone could have seen the old, and i mean from when i was a baby, bottles of hair spray i pulled from under the bathroom cabinet tonight. teen spirit and white rain? really?! OF COURSE i chucked em, i'm just amused mom brought them with us when we moved 5 years ago even though she hasn't used em since at least 1993! i'm not kidding...and the only reason she let me chuck em is because i read SouthernTease's entry on alcohol, SLS, and all that other crappy stuff to her! see, she does listen sometimes. =)

perm rods + comp shot

had to buy more perm rods today...doing mom's hair last night and i ran out so i had to finish the top with two cornrows. i guess it would have looked better if i could actually cornrow. LOL! i took that opportunity to watch a video on youtube by ladykpnyc...and guess what, i learned. she is the only person that ever made the finger placement make sense! too bad i'm not washing her hair till this weekend at least, so no practice till then.

i moisturized for the first time since saturday today. i know that sounds bad but i swear i didn't need it! i bunned today so something told me i still didn't need it but my edges are funky so i did it anyway, with bb oil moisturizer (aka the TROOF) and then some castor oil. i'm baggying right now.

i made a comp shot today also...see it in my album. i'm shocked to say the least. LET'S CROSS THAT V NEXT TIME! whooooo!

skin regimen

i have realized that as a pj my job (lol) is to try every product, every regimen, and every remedy for my hair and skin under the sun, then use the best-working ones to come up with my regimen. this is what i did for my hair, and this is how i know things like DCing 2x a week, baggying with bb oil moisturizer, and buns are my friends. this is also how i know i hate chi iron guard (my scalp is still recovering, literally). now i have done the same for my skin: using the makeup/skin care forum, afrobella's info on the OCM, youtube videos, and pokahontas's masks/scrubs, this is what i have come up with. i have found that i do like the honey on my face, as well as the baking soda. it feels so much better than the sugar. the coffee and yogurt seem to taste better than they work but i have only done the coffee scrub once. (still have to try the mask with cinnamon in it.) my face has cleared tremendously in the past week, which is something that has not happened since i used proactiv 2 years ago (the joy from that eventually faded). in fact, i went to the doctor today to get a new referral for my upcoming derm appt (june 10th!) and he looked at my face and asked me why i wanted to go. yes, he asked ME, of all people. i have never really been the one to get those really big red bumps, except for every other month or two one will pop up on my chin, but in the past 2 weeks i have had two (one at a time) on my left cheek, and through resisting the temptation to touch them (something i have only accomplished with less than 5 blemishes my whole life) they are shrinking. i usually get the really small ones on my cheeks, around my nose, and on my forehead, despite losing the sideswept bangs, but even they are disappearing to some extent. i will take pictures tonight after i rinse this cleanser/mask off (yes i am multitasking, one of my favorite hobbies: typing this, watching the first 48, and cleansing) since i failed to take some last week like i should have. i was simply too embarrassed for anyone to see my skin.

after all that talking/typing, here is my current regimen:
*rinse face with lukewarm water
*apply shea butter or purpose moisturizer (it has spf 15 in it and my derm recommended it)

*put a little (teaspoonish) amount of baking soda in my hand; add honey; make it less stiff with EVOO. apply to face for ~10 minutes. rinse off - no washcloth anymore.
*dry with hand towel, though i may change to a t-shirt or something
*tone with acv/distilled water/lemon juice mixture to remove excess oil and such
*moisturize with raw shea butter while face is still damp
*apply a thin layer of castor oil...use this time to apply it to my hairline as well =)

voila. i will update in a week or two, and definitely when i see the derm to hear his thoughts on dermabrasion/chem peels.

a day later...

it has been only 24 HOURS and i am already itching to DC and wash out this straight look. when i was curly i really wanted it straight (although i think that was just an urge to do a length check). this has never happened before in my life...i don't know whether it's the heat or what. i need to do SouthernTease's sidebun real quick so i can keep my hands away from the showerhead and kenra mc.

:goes to look at my hair pics album for motivation:: i did NOT spend an hour and a half on my hair yesterday for it to only last two days! i MUST get someone to french braid it or something! this sabino mb will keep on doing what it was purchased for! (oh, speaking of which, i woke up sweating like a fat rat, thanks mom for turning off the a/c, and my hair still looked fabulous. i love this stuff.)

but once it DOES get washed out...i'm on two strand twists like white on rice in a glass of milk on a paper plate in a snowstorm (got that from major payne). i saw someone on LHCF with a pic of some perfect twists using only her hair, no yarn or extension hair. this is what i will do until i can find some kinky twist hair that matches my color. i REALLY wish i had the patience to do a straw set but i can't do styles that take an insane amount of time unless it's someone else's hair, cause then it's like busy work. guess i will have to coax mom into trying it.

NO BC until AUGUST!...yes i know that keeps changing. sue me.

flat ironing

the banding experience was just that, an experience. i still did not let it dry all the way although i left them in overnight, goes to show how impatient i am. i pulled my hair back in a pony puff and threw on a dress and must say i felt very summery. it is 90 degrees outside after all.

once i got home though, i had the urge to flat iron, despite the fact that a) i am still wearing it up and b) it's 90 friggin degrees like i said. i mixed up some giovanni and water in a spray bottle and re-sectioned my hair into the 4 ponytails, then sprayed them and sealed with my shea oil mix before applying MB. i blowdried on medium then used my trusty solia to finish up the roots. it really does work in one pass. the plus side is my hair has grown and looks reallllllly shiny, but the negative is that it still doesn't swang. i have to get this product ratio down. i think too much MB may have done it. oh, and i'm laying off the flat iron for the month of june. if i want straight hair i will rollerset and wrap, or band again since it really did a good job of getting most of the curlies out.

banding pt 2

giving this thing another go since the one yesterday did not dry all the way.

DC w/ kenra mc, 2 hrs no heat
section off, apply GD
band into 4 ponytails

on a side note, my ponytails were so pretty, especially the ones on the sides. the curls were just perfect...i think my dream hair is starting to show. in the morning when it is DRY (as in 100% this time) i will add the shea mix and MB before deciding whether it needs to be flat-ironed or not. tomorrow is APL challenge length check-in! is it weird that i am excited? i think i can make it by the end of the summer...that is if i can resist the urge to BC.

dream hair - o rly?

in my last journal entry i said how my bestie's sister touched my hair and was shocked. now i wanna talk about her hair just because i need to get it off my chest. for all intensive purposes i will call her B.

B just turned 16 years it literally seems like the other day when i was that age, which is when my bestie became my bestie. anyhoo, when i met B at age 12 or so, she had really long (like BSL) thick 3b or so hair that her mother made her keep in ponytails - age appropriate, i thought. when she turned 14 her mother let her start straightening it, and she hit the ground running. it was professionally straightened the first time and it was so nice that they took multiple pics of it. it really was awe-inspiring. after that however she wasn't allowed to go to the salon...the stylist was "scissor-happy" it seems and no one wanted her to even have the chance to "clip some split ends", which i completely understand. so what happens? B gets a cheap flat-iron, a jar of vaseline, and goes to town. from that point on she wore it as straight as possible - and every few days she would restraighten, usually on damp hair, because it was frizzy.

now mind you this is before i found LHCF, but i still did not think this was a good idea. fast forward to a few months ago: she asks me to straighten her hair, so i bring over my chi silk infusion to act as a heat protectant, make sure her hair is DRY first, and do my thing. it came out really nice, but again it only lasted a few days. i mentioned that she should use a heat protectant but she is young and it only mattered that the vaseline made her hair shiny. because of the length she would eventually put it up in a ponytail.

so in march i joined LHCF and immediately began to think of her. by now you can probably figure out the results: as of now B still has long-ish hair, but her ends are horrible and her hair has broken off to APL pretty much. in fact, i saw her for the first time in a month and a half on memorial day and i was taken aback by the condition of her hair. it was in a messy bun but her ends were so see through it was ridiculous. it had lost what 'swang' it had and everything, i mean i almost cried. she saw my hair, which i had straightened and was wearing in a side bun, and told me it looked really nice. (i just liked it because it was shiny and moisturized, but come on it was a donut bun.) while sitting outside with my bestie we began talking about her recent haircut (FIERCE, btw) and trailed off to the subject of B's hair. she told me she had gotten so sick of the abuse that she has to hide her flat iron every time B comes over...yeah it's that bad. i then told her that no offense but she needs a trim, and she said that's why her mom hasn't taken her to a salon - she KNOWS that they have no choice but to cut B's hair. so then i was thinking how sad it was that she would rather hang onto those ends so she could have long hair, but really if the damage would not stop even after she cut it what would be the point? now i am stuck: do i try to pass some knowledge down to her or just let her do her thing? i feel like she will say what i used to: why pay all that money for that expensive hair stuff (like chi products and MB) when what i have gets the job done? i saw her again tonight and struggled with this. i will think on it a bit more so i can find the right words...or maybe i will just buy her some silk infusion or something. -sigh-


i had every intention on flat-ironing my hair tonight although i had reservations since i am going to an amusement park tomorrow and will more than likely sweat my curls out (even though my MB came today). i decided to give Pokahontas's banding method a try (man i'm really goin through her albums, lol) so i cowashed with kenra, did a clear glaze and rinsed it out with vo5 strawberries, added GD and MB, then put my hair in 4 ponytails and added the multicolored cloth bands with perm rods on the ends. i must say my hair was very straight and shiny under those bands...i only wish i were more patient and had stayed under the hood dryer till they were all the way dry, but that's another story for another journal. in any event my hair came out nice and wavy...i brushed it into a high pony and it looks so nice i will just wear it like this.

oh yes, from the overnight baggying i did (successfully) last night - i covered the plastic cap with a satin bonnet and slept on my satin pillowcase - my hair came out wayyy too soft for my liking. i put it all on and took the cap off after 2 hours to check and everything felt great, so maybe i should have stopped there. but after a few hours of being out in the air it "hardened" up. i think i will baggy this ponytail tonight so that when i wake up in the morning all i have to do is remove my scarf and the cap.

p.s. another hair compliment today - my bestie's sister touched my ponytail and was caught offguard by the softness and the smell. as i couldn't smell it myself it was either the kenra, the vo5, or the GD i think. lol

p.p.s. i took some of the shea butter and whipped it (with an electric blender) with some of the herbal oil blend and some EVOO. my skin is so well moisturized. i plan on putting this on my hair in the baggy tonight as well.

am i there yet?

after that whole coffee mask thing the other day, i got impatient and being that i stayed up all night anyway i did the baking soda scrub thing at around 7 in the morning. it was honey and baking soda at first but that stuff was hard to spread so i added EVOO, then toned and applied a thin layer of castor oil. then last night i did another one, but forgot the toner. i know i am super impatient though so i will do this for a week before i note any results, but YES my skin is soft (it usually is though) and YES the blemishes are shrinking (but this is usually the case as well).

jump tracks to my hair: that braidout came out pretty good. i pulled it back with a knee-high because of the shrinkage though so it looks like a curly fro. i whole-head baggied successfully last night and i think i should have taken the bag off last night before i went to sleep cause my hair feels kinda mushy. i will be co-washing anyway because ::cue trumpets:: MY MB and SHEA BUTTER ARRIVED! i am going out with friends tomorrow so i want to straighten my hair tonight, and these will be perfect for doing that. i also get to use the shea butter on my skin now...oh i can hardly stand the excitement.

but playing around in the mirror last night...i think i am almost APL. not full APL mind you, but i am almost there. i was stretching that hair as hard as i could...lollll! i am due for a length check-in for the APL challenge on the 31st anyway so perhaps i will do it tonight. i'm so exciteddddd!

another survey from LHCF

1. Clarifying Shampoo - suave clarifying
2. Moisturizing/Detangling Shampoo - CON blue
3. Protein conditioner - aphogee 2 min, emergencee
4. Moisturizing conditioner - lustrasilk shea butter cholesterol just got knocked off by kenra mc
5. Flat iron - solia
6. hair oil - castor oil/africa's best herbal mixed with EVOO if i'm feelin frisky
7. Blow dryer - ion pink bonnet or andis ionic handheld
8. Leave in - HE LTR or giovanni direct depending on my mood
9. Homemade concoction - i'm not that advanced, sorry
10. Regimen - whatever it takes to achieve the style i am looking for, from cowashing to the whole poo/protein/dc/rollerset/flat iron thing
(Bonus) Growth aid - none
(Bonus) Pre Poo - VO5 and oils if not clarifying
(Bonus) Co wash - VO5 vanilla mint tea or moisture milks
(Bonus) Relaxer - transitioning!

other tools: jf color glaze in brunette and clear, denman d3, sabino mb, baggying, purple satin scarf and pink satin pillowcase

may 27th

washed with CON blue.
emergencee treatment.
DC with jf brunette glaze, jf clear glaze and kenra mc.
rinse with VO5 "moisture milks".
giovanni direct leave-in; 5 large braids.

i'll be damned if this isn't the softest my hair has ever felt. can't wait to see the results of this braidout. if it goes well maybe i DC again before the end of the week, especially if i got that protein/moisture thing back on track.

bought honey, baking soda, and got coffee grinds - enough for some serious exfoliation. i did Pokahontas's coffee scrub and boy my face feels great. tomorrow i will try the honey mask because i have heard great things about honey's anti-acne properties and i am up for anything. in addition i have heard some talk about washing with baking soda so i want to try that too. hopefully this coupled with the OCM will clear me up a bit before my june 10th derm appointment.

i hate my face.

well, the skin on it.

so something i have been dealing with since high school is mild acne. i remember a girl telling me in 10th grade "you have such perfect skin!" and i think that is what set off the blemishes...LOL! i have tried various remedies, both OTC and prescription, but the fact that i find it hard to stick with things for four weeks (i'm an instant gratitude type of girl) AND the fact that i have serious hand-on-face disease (i'm working on it, i realllllly am) make these things work little to none of the time. proactiv was the best thing on wheels for a while but either the magic faded after the 60 day trial period or i fell off, i don't know. but now i am looking for something to clear up these bumps (tiny but numerous) and get rid of the scarring.

my current regimen:
DAY: moisturize with purpose w/SPF 15 (derm recommended). i don't wash because i find it unnecessary to wash 8 hours after the fact, but maybe if i did i would see something different. hmm. i'll ask the derm.
NIGHT: remove eye makeup (if applicable) with almay pads - OCM with EVOO - tone with ACV/water/lemon juice mix - apply thin layer of castor oil. once my shea butter comes in i will use that day and night. EVOO/sugar or Pokahontas' coffee scrub 1x week; baking soda in EVOO every other day. steam treatments are also delish; man how i wish i had a face steamer other than my pot of water. lollll

ETA: reading the makeup/skin care forum like it's my job. wash/exfoliate/mask/moisturize seems to be the key, at least once a week, though exfoliation can be done 3x week if necessary. and i have to ask the derm about peels and microdermabrasion - seems lots of people have had success with 40% lactic acid peels, TCA peels, and glycolic acid.

my affair with baggying

i wanna start out by saying i never really got the point of baggying before the other day. sure, i knew it was supposed to "lock in moisture", and i should have known this based on the no-heat treatments i have done while prepooing (that shower cap always came out soaked just from me sitting in front of the tv). i did it once before using SouthernTease's whole head baggying, but my hair was wet...stupidstupidstupid! NOW i know it's done on DRY hair that you have moisturized before bed!

my hair is still flat ironed from last tuesday or so, so while going through the closet the other day throwing away all the "bad" hair stuff, you know the ones with mineral oil, i came across this barely used bottle of BB hair lotion "with castor oil and aloe". i read the ingredients...good stuff, no mineral oil, so i decided to use it and see what would happen if i just so happened to put a plastic shower cap on my ponytail. after one night i was sold. three nights later i am testifying. i found that mixing it with that african oil stuff we have on the shelf produces even greater results. so here i am tonight getting ready to try the whole head baggying again...but this time with a DRY yet moisturized head.

trade secret+sabino haul

BOOM! went to trade secret today looking for the MB and Kenra MC since it's on sale through the end of the month. got the kenra (whoo hoo) but the saleschick had no idea what MB was so that let me know they didn't sell it and i would have to pay for shipping. &*^%!!!!!!! so i bought it online. so for $28 i got 2 LITERS of kenra...and for another $28 i got 3oz of MB. what a ripoff. they better be glad this stuff works.

oh, and i took back the iron guard and the straight guard. i have too many products already, and MB > iron guard.

hair disaster+MB+CVS haul

ok so its not really a disaster but here's where i am.

tues night: dc'd with some hot oil treatments i found in the back of the closet (they are suave but they have wheat protein!) and my cholesterol. i wanted to keep it on overnight so thank goodness i only kept in on about 2 hrs, one with heat one without. i took off the cap and when i rinsed it out OMG! there were all these short broken bone straight pieces! ALL MY HAIR IS FALLING OUT! not literally but it felt like it compared to the wash 2 days prior where all i saw was shed hair. wore it in a snood so i couldn't see it. idk what to do.

so wed night i was sad but i wanted to flat iron my hair for a meeting i had today (well, thursday). i cowashed, rollerset with detangler and chi silk infusion, and planned on just flat ironing the roots but i had my mom put the rollers in and she did a horrible job with straightening the hair on the roller (sorry mom). i have these sabino moisture block samples i wanted to try so here's what i did:

after taking out the rollers i then applied one whole vial, but i think i didn't coat it all too evenly. i was nervous about the heat protection so i had conveniently purchased some chi iron guard (what a pj) and i sprayed that on starting at the bottom half of my hair. i heard this frying noise and ditched that idea REAL quick.

so playing around with the temp, i went from ~410 on my solia back down to 370, then once i stopped using the iron guard (and subsequently stopped feeling like i was burning my scalp even though i was nowhere near my roots at that point) i turned it back up to 400. i then pulled out the other vial of MB and applied it section by i tell you once i started doing it that way my results were so much better, just really shiny and smooth. gotta say i love my hair right now...i put on some castor oil and bunned today (gotta make APL!) but it still feels really great. can't wait to return the iron guard and run to trade secret tomorrow to see if they have this in stock.

last but not least, i made a trip to charlottesville today so i could get my shoe basket from my apartment (i can't believe i went TWO WEEKS without my flats!) and go to a meeting. while there i went to cvs since there isn't one here in newport news. they had john frieda products all BOGO and i was dying to try the color glaze (littlegoldlamb's reviews are slammin, btw). i got the brown and the clear BOTH for ten bucks and will try them this weekend or when my hair stops trippin, whichever comes first. i also bought some emergencee since this is the only place i can find it - seriously, that stuff is out of stock everywhere i go and shipping charges online are a b*tch. i will try it in maybe 2 weeks. oh, they had some 75% off stickers on random makeup...too bad the true match foundations/blushes were for people of a lighter complexion. i did get some physician's formula eyeshadow, a smoky trio that i really needed in my life, for 3.99, since it was 50% off. gotta love it.

be back in a few days...this is therapeutic as hell.

may 18th wash journal

so i spent ALL day yesterday putting yarn twists in my sister's hair then i washed my brother's hair for him. that makes today MY day. man i feel like such a bad girl because of all i've learned on LHCF. last time i washed was on the 10th...i meant to wash on the 13th or 14th but i got that free blowout and it messed up my life. not really, but it threw me off schedule cause i wanted to extend my straight hair glory. lol right now i am prepooing with EVOO and castor oil and i will be washing afterwards with suave clarifying (1st lather) and CON blue (2nd lather). i bought a denman =) so i will use that and my VO5 to detangle. after that i will DC with aphogee 2 min for about 5 mins then again with Lustrasilk cholesterol. then thats about it...rinse, add my HE LTR leave-in, braid it up and dry it. haven't decided whether i will wear it curly or straight yet. i feel good about this though.

updated wants: CON green, a better prepoo. maybe.

thanks LadyLibra

LHCF Hair Survey!

1. Current Hair Length:
--collarbone stretched, mid-neck unstretched.

--transitioning? lol, natural

3. Favorite Style at Current Length (not necessarily a style you'd wear since we're all mainly wearing protective styles, but a style that you think looks cute with that length):
--bantu knot outs

4. Current Hair Color:
--lightish brown; darker at the ends where the damaged reddish black stuff is trying to fade.

5. Favorite Hair Color (for yourself):
--dark brown

6. Realistic Goal Length (the length you are truly determined to get to):
--APL unstretched

7. Dream Goal Length (the length you'd like to have, but not sure if you can achieve it, can be the same as above):
--BSL unstretched

8. Desired Style or Styles for Realistic Goal (a style you would wear at that goal):
--keeping it flat-ironed in protective styles, or when curly i like bantu knot outs/twistouts/braidouts.

9. Desired Style or Styles for Dream Goal:
either mimicking the sew-in with the bangs i had, or long, soft perfectly shaped ringlets.

10. Dream Look (okay this is weird but I've vowed to try to look more stylish once I achieve my goal length, plus I know some ladies here have taken up other self improvement regimens like weight loss or skin care so in the end what would be your dream look?):
--long healthy hair with glowing healthy and scar-free skin (acne scarring and the tolls of being a tomboy on my legs.)

11. Any crazy hair story:
--the day i got mad at my stylist for trying to charge me an exorbitant amount of money just to wash my sew in so me and my mom went at it. end result was HUGE matted tangle on top of my head...and since this was ~6pm on a friday every salon i called was like "sorry, see you monday". (btw i did find a girl who opened the shop just for me AND recut my bangs to please me.)

12. One thing you LOVE about your hair:
--discovering how much of a mistake it was for me to beg for a relaxer once i hit middle school. i love this versatility, and i am afflicted with hand-in-hair now.

13. Who truly screwed your hair up?:
--a few, to make it short: my mom's former stylist, who gave me my first stepmom's former stylist, who decided i would look great with bangs and resigned me to walking around with them bobby pinned back for 6 months...the people who told me dark and lovely blonde would be great on my hair...these are the same ones who did my sew-in and made me think i could go for 2 months without doing ANYTHING to it. eww.

14. Three reasons for wanting long hair (other than wanting to show that black women can have long hair, this is somewhat a goal for all of us):
--to determine if SL really is my terminal length (so far doesn't seem like it); to have more versatility; because my bf loves girls with long dark hair. haha. j/k about that last one, the real 3rd reason is so i learn about MYSELF (and save some dough in the process).

hair mini haul

so today was my bf's birthday and since he is still up at school finishing finals i went out and bought things for myself. =) i had been itching for some aphogee so this is what i got from sally's:

denman d3 (can't wait to use it tomorrow!)
aphogee 2 min reconstructor
noodle head curling creme
CON blue shampoo (extra body, they were out of the regular and i just had to take advantage of the sale)
rayon net

and then i went to wal-mart and bought yarn so i can do yarn twists in my little sister's head (thanks for the tutorial Honesty!) so we will see how my prepoo/wash/DC regimen goes tomorrow. i will prepoo with EVOO and castor oil, then wash with the new CON, and DC with the aphogee followed by the cholesterol i bought the other day.

reorganizing my regimen

all i need to add in:
cowashing (3x a week?)
DCing 2x a week
clarifying 1x aweek
full prepoo/wash/DC 1x a week

i'll figure it out in the next week or so.

PJ in search of a DC

So I joined the DC challenge on LHCF...I think challenges are my new thing - so many good tips and support, and in this particular one Aggie (LadyAggie on fotki) is so great at being patient with me and answering all my unanswered questions! I love this challenge and I have only DC'd once!

I wanted to flat iron my hair today so I started preparing my hair on Saturday night 5/10...I don't have any SLS-free poos yet so I just used my trusty old VO5 conditioner and did a co-wash. (I since have bought some Suave clarifying...I heard Trade Secret has a sale though, and I'll stalk the board tomorrow for some recommendations. If you wanna rec know!). After that I DC'd for 30 mins with this Cantu shea butter leave-in I bought spiked with some EVOO, which is my best friend ever. It clearly said "leave-in" but the back of the jar said something about leaving in overnight, so for less than $5 I said why not. My hair didn't feel so mushy after the treatment, so I said hey cool, but something still didn't feel right. (I exchanged it today for some LustraSilk cholesterol, btw.) Getting on with it...I detangled with this leftover Thermasilk spray and put on some of the greatest leave-in ever, HE LTR. I really wanted to stretch it but it was 3am by then and I was t-i-r-e-d. Therefore, I just put a satin bonnet on.

Fast forward to Sunday afternoon. My hair was still damp but I was anxious to use my new Solia for the first time, and the box clearly says you can use it on damp hair, so I grabbed my Chi Silk Infusion and went for it. Somewhere along this pathway I must have went seriously wrong, because I couldn't get my roots straight for anything. I got frustrated and just did what I could, so basically my roots are crimpy right now and the rest is straight. It also looks dry...what the heck, man? I'm gonna get this thing eventually.

What I'll do different next time:
1) STRETCH! Probably banding or a braidout or twistout.
2) Let it dry all the way by giving it more time if I air dry or just biting the bullet and blow drying. The hood dryer also looks tempting...but that thing is HOT on my forehead. I am stanning for a Pibbs at this point.
3) Use a different moisturizer?
4) Clarify...maybe it is the buildup from all this freakin' co-washing.

So I'm excited...I am having a medical procedure on Wednesday and that will give me a lot of downtime (about 2 weeks) to sit and think once I get over the pain of the healing process. I will try to DC again on Sunday since I'm not happy with this straightening job anyway...but we shall see if I really feel like it.

My Hair Journey

As you can see...this is L-O-N-G.

If only I knew where to start. This "hair-therapy" is very new to me; I came across Macherieamour's site ( about a month and a half ago just trying to find out more about the oil cleansing method or something else completely unrelated. Once I saw that there was the possibility that I really COULD have long hair, I was hooked.

I was born with light brown curly hair, and my brother came along four years later with a similar mop. He has grown his hair out on several occasions and always got praise for his curly 'fros. My mom always took pride in plaiting my hair into cute little ponytails, and I liked it too. My aunt and my older cousins (one is 10 years older, the other 2 years older) were ALWAYS putting their hands in my hair, and from the few times my aunt took me to her stylist Linda (who has a daughter my age with hair similar to mine) I liked that a lot. I felt so "grown" sitting in that chair. My mom tried to mimic that happiness by taking me to her stylist, who I now realize may have been part of the problem (I still love you though!). She was the one who first cut my hair, put the hot comb to my tresses, and applied that first relaxer. I felt pretty - my mom felt defeated.

From there began a line of bad stylists: my stepmother would take me with her and her daughters, who have hair similar to mine, but it stays pressed/greased. My mom was appalled on a number of occasions when I came back from his house with straight, shiny hair, which I LOVED because it helped me fit in with my Caucasian (ahem) friends.

Once I got into high school I continued with the relaxers but wasn't so big on upkeep: ponytails were my best friend. My cousins would tease me a lot for those puffy frizzy things, and this is when I was introduced to wrapping, moisturizing, and the like. My hair looked healthy for sure, but I still have no idea whether it was actually the hair or all the products. I began wearing my hair down more, and this may be why my hair didn't get past SL: it was always rubbing against my collar!

I began college in the fall of 2005 and decided I wanted a new hairdo to mark this new phase. (This is part of the problem: I express breakups, successes, and tragedy with my hair.) I cut it into a style like Linda's daughter's the day after Thanksgiving, and a month later I got it colored like hers too. I usually let Linda do what she saw fit, and I will concede that it worked - while I was relaxed, anyway. I grew this out, then in about September of 2006 got my first sew-in. It was ok, and I got it mainly for length, but I was under the impression that I didn't have to do anything to the braids underneath. This resulted in breakage when I took it out in December, then in January I bleached it blond with some Dark & Lovely off the shelf at Wal-mart. Linda's color was better of course, but $5 compared to $85? Come on!

Ok...grew out the blond (it looked bad anyway, but I didn't care) then dyed it a reddish color the summer of 07 to get rid of the yellowish. Got a sew-in July 07 because I liked that particular hairstyle; it looked good but was put in by an "old-school" stylist who told me "she didn't need to look at the pic I bought" so I was never satisfied with the bangs. She was one of those people who tell you what you wanna hear if it means you will sit in the chair...and give up that money. After it came out I found a great girl named Myra who advised me to wait for another...but only after taking out the one she put in. I had anticipated another full sew-in, but either because she didn't feel like it or she thought she had creative license, she left the top (reddish, remember?) out and the bottom was jet black. Wow, right? It looked okay, but once again I wasn't in love with it. Then that same night one of the tracks on the side slipped...she was 50 miles away by then so I had my mom fix it. Big mistake.

Myra disappeared right around the time I was looking for it to come my 20th birthday (Oct 2007) it was looking really bad and I was upset, since I was planning on having a big celebration and didn't want to look like a fool. My cousin ended up taking it out so I could just wash it or whatever, and while it had grown it had also knotted up. After the knots came out I was barely SL. After I finished crying she told me about a Dominican salon she had been to, and since I was in no shape to get a relaxer I went to them. My hair turned out fabulous, minus the fact that they had to cut out the part that knotted up after washing it, so I went from SL to ear length that day. I kept up going to them pretty much once a month (more over academic breaks) from then (Oct 2007) to Feb or March of this year, since I have to travel ~150 miles from school to there. Sometime in November they dyed my hair black, and I haven't dyed it since.

In comes LHCF, which I discovered in late March. I began seriously reanalyzing the lack of washing (I only let them wash it, so if I was only home once a month that's all that happened) and deep conditioning, as well as my lack of enthusiasm for spending money on what has proven to work vs. going for the cheaper stuff. I quickly became a PJ (ha) after discovering LHCF, and through all the trial and error I have found a few things I can't live without - and saved some money. ($25 on a wash and set, then another $12 for Emergencia, then $5 for DC if I requested it...what?! I bought some VO5 for 66 cents from CVS and some HE LTR leave-in for 3 bucks at Wal-mart, and recently discovered the BOTTLE of Emergencee is $12!) Love it, and so does my hair. I love CW days now, and I use them to experiment with all the new styles I've picked up from LHCF. Who says you have to be relaxed to have style versatility? Just in the past 3 weeks I've tried braid-outs, twist-outs, Bantu knots...when I went home two weeks ago my mom bought a Chi (she has since returned it for a Solia from and I used that and the Silk Infusion I had from a while back to straighten it.'s so thick and shiny, and the Bantu knots are so different when I do them on straight hair! I can't wait to post all my pics!

I know, I know...this was long. But if only you knew how liberated I feel. I seriously doubt I can offer suggestions to anyone, but I am open to them and eager to learn from the pros.

Peace, love, and (no) hair grease,
mojo <3

get up on the terminology if you have no idea what i am talking about!