Thursday, December 8, 2011

Fluffy Twistout and Thanksgiving Pics

Here is the twistout I wore on Thanksgiving day and pics of me and the family having fun! I used Blue Magic hair grease and Design Essentials Curl Defining Creme Gel on dry hair :)

Ciao for now and Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

"Ma'am, You Look Really Nice!"

Just had to share an experience that I had a couple of days ago that really made my day. On my way home from work I stopped at a gas station and went inside for a few things. I was dressed fashionably professional and my hair was in medium twists, pinned in an up-do, nothing fancy. I collected my items and proceeded to stand in line at the counter to pay. I was in a bit of a hurry and not paying attention to what was going on around me when I heard a man’s voice behind me say, “Excuse me ma’am.” I turned around and saw this very nice looking young man (probably a good 15 – 20 years younger than myself). He went on to say, “ Don’t take this the wrong way, I’m not trying to hit on you or anything, but you look VERY nice!” WOW! I thanked him for the compliment, turned back around to the counter, paid for my purchases and strutted out of the gas station very matter-of-factly, but y’all know inside I was really feeling myself! LOL.

I know that we naturals feel that if no one else appreciates us in all of our natural-haired glory, we don’t need their approval. We’re already confident in ourselves, because it takes a lot of confidence to go natural in the first place. We appreciate and love ourselves and don’t care what others think. I know I usually don’t. As long as my husband admires and appreciates me and the way I look (and he tells me so, often) and most importantly, as long as “I” like what I see when I look in the mirror, I really don’t care much about what others think of me most of the time. But, on that rare occasion, when you do get a heartfelt, sincere compliment from a complete stranger, I have to admit, it is WONDERFULLY refreshing!

Ciao for Now!

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New Pics

My Wash n Go not quite dry yet

It's been a little while since I posted. My hair is doing well, I've slipped off the "minimalist" bandwagon and purchased a few more items for my hair which I really love. I've been using Tre Semme Moisturizing Conditioner for EVERYTHING, co-washing, as a leave in and as a detangling condish and I love that stuff! I also purchased some of the Taliah Waajid Bodifying Mist as a detangler/leave in and I love it too. I got some Olive Oil Ecco Styler and tried a wash and go for a few days, which I actually did like - I liked the low maniplation of just putting on a silk scarf at night and then misting and fluffing in the morning. That lasted for about a week and a half. It's actually a wash n "fro" for me because the shrinkage is unreal, but I liked it! I'll definitely explore the wash n go again soon. I also did twists/ twistout using some good old fashioned hair grease to seal in moisture from my shampoo and conditioning and under my gel styler. It kept my hair very moisturized and soft. I liked it too. I've discovered for the best results to stretch and twistout my hair after co-washing and detangling to apply a combination of coconut oil, shea butter and Aloe Vera gel (mixed together) to stretch my hair and seal my ends, and then apply a GENEROUS amount of Design Essentials Curl Defining Creme Gel to twist. I got the most amazing, full and stretched twists-turned twistout that I've every gotten before! It also doesn't hurt that my hair is growing like a weed. Not only longer but "fuller". I'm retaining length and just more hair in general because I rarely use any tools in my hair to detangle and style. Just my fingers. Well, here are some pics of my latest styles.

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Successful Braidout and "Jamaican Girl" half-wig

Just some pics of my first braidout that I was actually happy with, now that I'm all natural and my hair has grown out. I misted stretched hair with a little water, EVOO and Aloe Juice, added a little HEHH condish, sealed with more EVOO and then braided it in about 12-15 braids, curling the ends with the skinny plastic from sponge rollers (just removed the sponge part). I LOVED how it turned out. Lasted about 4 days.

Here's me in my Free Tress "Jamaican Girl" half-wig. This is what I wore after my twistout started going bad - LOL. I just braided my hair back up but left the front out to blend with the wig. I don't think it looks too bad. Kinda close to my own twistout - just a little fuller and the curls are a bit more defined. but, anyhoo...I like it!

I think I'll wear it more often during the winter months while I keep my own hair braided up and protected underneath. At least, this is what I might do after I've worn a braidout and it starts to look raggedy but I'm not ready to change the "look", know what I mean?

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Well, Ciao for now! :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

August Update ALL Natural and B&B Oil Moisturizer Hair Lotion

So, I'm finally 100% ALL Natural! I cut off the very last of my permed ends a few weeks ago and I love it. Although, I've been transitioning for 18 months and there really wasn't much left of the perm anyway so I didn't really BIG CHOP. LOL. After my "trim" My hair is probably about 9-10 inches long in most parts of my head when stretched. About 6 inches in the back. I'm still following my simplified routine and my hair is loving it. I shampooed the other day with Jessicurl's Hair Cleansing Cream and did a chunky twistout (about 12 twists) using Jessicurl's "Too Shea" conditioner as a leave in and the Confident Coils Styling Solution as a styler. I sealed with EVOO. The twistout turned out pretty good - particularly since I can do them now without having to curl the ends with rollers or curlers. I was very pleased with it.

I used a spritz of water/EVOO mix (very little, just enough to dampen hair a bit), Aloe Vera Gel and sealed with EVOO then retwisted in chunky twists to maintain the style at night. I got about 3 days out of it. I could've gone longer but I got tired of having to retwist my hair every night. I'm lazy like that - LOL! I like to be able to just throw a scarf or bonnet on and go to bed. That's why I keep my hair in twists and updos a lot and forgo the twistouts. So, on the third day, on my old twistout, I went ahead and did an updo and I'll probably rock that for the rest of the week. It's actually my version of Kimmaytube's 40's updo style which is basically a roll, tuck and pin with a bun in th back and pompador in the front.

The only problem that I have when I wear my hair in updo or protective styles that are from an old twistout and not in actual twists, is how to keep it moisturized. I've found that if I keep my hair "stretched" it doesn't tangle as easily and I can put it in different styles easier than when it's "shrunken" - but, it's hard to keep your hair moisturized when it's stretched because if you add water, it's going to shrink up. Oils don't really add much moisture, they just seal in moisture. Enter - B&B Oil Moisturizer Hair Lotion! I always loved this stuff, but had stopped using it because I discovered it had mineral oil. I like to co-wash or use a hair cleansing cream with no sulfates and not have to use shampoo often (no more than once a month), so I don't want to use a bunch of products that have mineral oils which coats the hair and require a sulfate shampoo to remove. But, B&B works SOOO well. It moisturizes without being greasy and doesn't cause the hair to shrink and makes my hair super soft! I rub it into my dry hair, seal with EVOO and style. Well, I've decided that I'm going to start back using it ANYWAY. Considering the fact that it's a water-based moisturizer (water is the first ingredient on the list) and it contains castor oil, jojoba oil, canola oil, coconut oil and aloe vera - this stuff can't be bad for my hair! Plus, the mineral oil is like the 6th indgredient down on the list so it doesn't contain a concentrated amount. I'm going to roll with it. I love the way it makes my hair look and feel.

Well, that's it for now. Pictures coming soon, I promise ;)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


So, I'm really getting my routine down to basics and I love it. It's really working out great - less product, less manipulation and healthier hair! I took some tips from Cipriana of "Urbanbushbabes" mainly because her hair type is similar to mine and she has had such great success with hair growth and health over 4 years following her routine. I've modified it to suit me, of course, but here goes:

  • Shampoo monthly with a mild shampoo to remove any buildup on hair

  • Pre-poo and Co-wash bi-weekly with conditioner and olive oil (leave pre-poo on with a baggy and scarf for at least 15 mins to deep condition) rinse hair, apply leave-in and put into medium to small twists all over head

  • Once a week take twists down (using oil and a little bit of oil/water spritz) apply leave-in and re-twist, twist the "twists" together making about 6 big twists and then "band" twists to stretch overnight. Release the 6 larger twists in the morning and style hair in a protective updo for the week. (bun, twists, twist bun with Goody barrette or faux puff bun)

  • Nightly while hair is in protective updo style - spritz hair lightly with EVOO "spray" and tie with satin scarf and satin bonnet before bed.

Generally the only products that I use now are:

Water, EVOO, Hot Six Oil, EVOO Spray, Shampoo of choice (right now it's Jessicurl's Cleansing Cream or ORS Creamy Olive Oil Shampoo), Kimmaytube leave in mix, Aloe Vera Juice, Shea Butter, Jessicurl's Weekly Deep Conditioner or HH Hello Hydration.

I'm also discovering the beauty of my hair the way it is - not twisted to create a certain curl pattern but just appreciating it for it's kinky, shrinky, nappy, poofy self. Check out my video on this:

Ciao for now!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Flexirod, Flat Twist Twistout

I recently did a flat twistout using flexirods to

curl the ends (see my tutorial for this style on my Youtube channel I didn't like it at first, it was a little TOO curly for me, but I played around with it a bit and got it to a point where I could live with it - LOL!

I've been following the exact same routine for about a month or so now and it really seems to be working well for me.

On Saturdays I take my twists down with a little bit of EVOO, divide my hair into two sections, first, saturate my hair with water, Aloe Vera Juice and EVOO spritz, and then apply a deep conditioner to both sides of my hair. I then divide my hair into about 5-6 sections on each side of my head and secure them with clips. Starting on my left side, (because I'm lefthanded, I guess) start detangling each section, first with my fingers then with my shower comb and finally with my paddle brush. After detangling a section I twist it. Once all the sections are twisted, I put on a plastic baggy and then a scarf and deep condition for anywhere from 15 mins to 4 hours, depending on how much time I have and what I'm doing that day.

Next, I rinse my hair in the shower (leaving the twists in) and then shampoo with a non-sulfate hair cleanser or shampoo. Finally, I rinse out the shampoo and then proceed to style with my Kimmaytube leave-in mixture. My style is usually medium sized twists that I leave down over the weekend, and then pin up either in somekind of updo style or pull back into a banana clip bun for the week. This cuts down on frequent manipulation and allows me to leave my hair ALONE. It also cuts down big time on styling time in the morning because my mornings are very rushed and I don't have time to spend forever getting my hair together. To maintain my style throughout the week, I sleep with a satin scarf on and in the morning I just spritz it my hair with my aloe vera spritz, put on a stocking cap to keep the style neat while I go through my morning routine, then, once I'm all dressed with my makeup on and ready to leave the house, I remove the stocking cap and accessorize. About midweek, I may dampen my hair and add some more leave-in conditioner and retwist the twists in the front of my hair if they're looking raggedy. But, that's about it. This routine has helped me tremendously and I think my hair loves it too :)

Ciao for now!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

New Pics!

Not a whole lot to report - just some pics of new and different styles and my twist n curls! What do you think? I think I'm getting better at the TnC ;)

Ciao for now!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

For the rest of the Grow Out Challenge...

For the remainder of the GOC (Kim Coles/CurlyNikki), I think that I will be "sock bunning" or banana-clip bunning (on stretched hair) for my protective style. I'll change up the front a bit with either a flat twist or two, pomp or bangs and use headbands and scarves if I decide to pull the front back, but I think that's my game plan. I'll wash, condition and put my hair in 10-15 flat twists for a twist n curl to stretch and then wear a twistout for a day maybe and then bun for the week. I'm getting a little weary of the two strand twist updos - been wearing my hair like that basically since September, in different variations. Now that my hair is actually long enough to bun, I'm going to try rocking that for awhile I can still keep it protected but I need to change it up a bit. 9 months of twists is enough for now.

Above are pics of my sock bun style and my puffy banana clip pony style.

Ciao for Now!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bento Eating for Healthy Living - My Adventures in Creating Delicious, Healthy, Beautiful Meals

(Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Do what you want to do!

One of the great things about getting older is you don’t care as much about what other people think. You discover the things that make you happy and decide that you’re going to follow your own path. This is one of my reasons for going natural. But, besides natural hair, one of my other passions is making “bento” lunches.

What is BENTO???!!!!

(Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Basically, “bento” is a Japanese or Asian style of packing a nutritionally balanced and visually appealing meal in a compact, box. The word bento, in a nutshell, means “convenient”. I stumbled onto this phenomenon while searching the web for healthy ways that other cultures eat. Initially, I was looking for different foods and how they affect my hair (of course) but when I learned about the art of bento making, I LOVED the concept and decided to give it a try.

Reasons to “bento”:
1). HEALTHY – the concept of bento is to make your lunch nutritionally balanced (according to the Japanese philosophy of nutritionally balanced. It's a slightly different philosophy than the Western view of the Food Pyramid), visually appealing and to help with portion control - cuz’ ya’ll know portion sizes in this country are WAY outta control!

The general rule of thumb for packing a bento lunch is to include 3 parts carbs or grain (rice or pasta, I often use brown rice) 1 part protein (some kind of fish or lean meat or even legumes) and 2 parts fruit and/or vegetables with no candy, junk or fatty foods and no empty space. I know a lot of people out there don't like their foods to touch so, many use the ready-made, compartmentalized boxes or just separate their foods using, foil, wax paper, paper muffin cups, etc. For me, bento is a simple method for weight control and healthy eating without counting calories. Many bento boxes, because they are on the smaller side, only hold about 600 ml of food. In Japan they don't measure these meals in calories, per se, but by the capacity of the bento container so they figure the number of calories correspond to the capacity of the container - thus 600 ml of food is equal to about 600 calories. But, rest assured, if you have a larger appetite, you can buy bento boxes that hold more than 600 ml! I just use that as a guideline for myself. Some of my lunches are larger, some are smaller depending on how I feel - but I try to make sure they are all nutritionally balanced and visually appealing.

Also, the idea is to create a lunch that has a variety of flavors, textures and colors. Most bento “gurus” say that a good bento should include 5 colors, white, brown, green, yellow and red or orange. In order to have all these colors in your meal, you have to have a variety of sources – particularly the green, red, yellow/orange. Those are the colors of many fruits and veggies. (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

2). SAVES MONEY– it stopped me from running to McD’s everyday for lunch.

3). IT MAKES ME SMILE – The anticipation of knowing that I have my own, cute little lunch that I took the time to pack myself not only keeps me away from the fast food restaurants during the day, but just plain adds some joy to my life!

Different Types of Bento –
(Photos courtesy of Wikipedia)
Bento lunches range from the very basic and simple to the incredibly elaborate. Many people take a lot of time preparing their bento lunches and some have turned it into a form of food art; using food to create cartoon characters, cute cuddly animals and even landscape scenes! These elaborate bento meals take a lot of time to prepare and are very interesting and fun to look at.

My Bento Lunches:
(These 2 photos are MY own bento creations!)
While I do enjoy perusing the bento websites and marveling at the elaborate works of food art…I ‘aint got time for all that! I keep my bentos simple and try to prepare them either the night before or in the mornings in under 15 minutes. That means I use a lot of easy to pack, already prepared foods, like pre-cut or baby carrots and celery sticks, broccoli spears, cheese cubes, boiled eggs, cherry tomatoes, grapes, etc. and my main ingredient - leftovers from dinner the night before! I do try to keep it balanced and interesting, though. Every once in a while I’ll get the notion to “create” something cute. And I have been known to put cute little faces on my boiled eggs or something, but that doesn’t happen very often – LOL!

What do you carry your bento lunches in?
I started out using just some good ‘ol square, oval or compartmentalized Tupperware-type containers, which is perfectly acceptable. But, then I decided that I wanted some “real” bento boxes so I purchased a couple. They just make the whole bento experience more fun for me.

Do what makes you happy

When I first started with my bento obsession, my
co-workers were curious about my little lunches and lunch boxes. My family thought I was silly. They would watch me make my lunches and ask me questions about it. When I explained what bento was all about they would give me the *side-eye* like I was crazy; much like they did when I started going natural with my hair! But, I don’t care. It makes me smile, and that’s all that matters. I don’t need their approval. And, hey, I’ve maintained my target weight, I'm healthy and I've saved a lot of money over the last year, just by changing how I eat my lunches everyday, so now who’s crazy?

(Me giving THEM the *side-eye*...HA!)

If you're interested in learning more about making Bento, check out:

What do you do to eat healthier?

Visit my YouTube channel

Ciao for Now!

Article by Evelyn Ngugi of "Kinks & All" from

I really love this article by Evelyn Ngugi. I subscribbed to her You Tube Channel "Spicyeve" today. For one, her hair texture is similar to mine, and she talks about all the things that she's discoved so far during her natural hair journey. I love how she makes a point to discuss what she can't do with her hair, even though you see others do it - it helps me a great deal ( I don't look right in minitwists either, at least not in the front of my hair because it's thin - LOL!) Check it out!
Ciao for Now,

My ‘fro has grown this year! The last photo is a blowout from this past summer. I haven’t done a blowout since, but I know my hair is even larger!

January 17, 2011 was my afro’s first birthday, folks! To celebrate, I made a video to explain why I went natural and why I make natural hair YouTube videos. I also feel it’s not enough to simply go natural. You’ve got to pay attention to your hair and learn something! Below is a list of things I learned my first year natural.

1. I need a “detangling my hair” playlist. Musiq Soulchild just seems to make the comb glide through my hair, and it seems like my coils like Bilal better than any conditioner.

2. Aloe vera does nothing to my hair that water can’t as a spritz. But it is good to mix with leave-in conditioner and a bit of oil. When I want to stretch my hair just for the purpose of pinning it up, that mixture works great on twists. Mmm, fluffy.

3. I have relatively thin and fine hair, naturally. Thin, as in the number of hairs on my head is less than average and fine, as in the diameter or width of a strand of hair is smaller than average.

4. Because of #3, I CAN’T rock mini twists. It just can’t be done.

5. Being natural taught me to love myself, so #4 doesn’t phase me; I can move on to different protective styles.

6. Oyin handmade is one of the most amazing hair care companies out there. So is Kinky Curly.

7. I am extremely comfortable with my shrinkage and LOVE to wear regular afros or wash n’ goes (the legit ones, like just washing and GOING, not 1 hour spent defining your curls). While I love my shrunken hair, it was easy to neglect it and not keep it properly detangled. That led to split ends, and ultimately cutting some hair again. I’m rocking stretched out hair now and re-twisting every night. Honestly, I resisted it. I didn’t want to put in the work.

8. Strangers will go out of their way to compliment your hair. Especially people who realize the importance and beauty of what you did. A white woman with biracial kids complimented my twist out. A white chick with locs said she loved my hair. A black dude with a picked out ‘fro wanted tips on how to wash it. These were all strangers on the city bus.

9. Coconut oil is God’s gift to afro textured hair. I feel like it was made specifically for me or something. This stuff is the TRUTH.

10. Growing your edges back takes a really, really, REALLY long time.

The most important thing I discovered this past year is that I am never going back to permanently straightened hair. This is me. One year natural. Here’s to the rest of my life!