Wednesday, October 22, 2014

11 Essential Tools For Your Hair Toolbox Part 2

As promised, here is part 2 of my essential tools list:

  1. Spray Bottle - I have several of different sizes and misting capabilities, but you probably only need 1-2 spray bottles.  I use them mainly for my oil/water mix and just plain water.
  1. Trimming shears - You should have a pair of hair shears to get rid of split ends and single strand knots, even if you don’t trim your hair regularly.  I have a pair of Conair shears that I love.  Do not use these shears for anything but your hair, and replace them as soon as they start to become dull.
  1. Disposable Shower Caps or Plastic Shopping Bags - If you deep condition, which you should, or if you do the green house method, then plastic caps or shopping bags are essential.  Personally, shower caps are so cheap that I just buy them.  I do re-use each one a few times before throwing it away.

  1. Mircofiber Towel or T-shirts - If you haven’t heard by now, let me be the first to tell you that you should not be using regular towels to dry your hair.  Regular towels rough up your strands and create frizz.  Use a microfiber towel or old T-shirts.  I do both.  The microfiber towel does a better job of jump starting the drying process for my low porosity hair, but the T-shirt works well too.
  1. Satin Hair Coverings - I have satin straight scarves, a large satin hooded scarf, a satin wrap to keep my buns neat for days, satin pillowcases, and a satin bonnet.  You do not need all of these things, but you do need at least one method of protecting your strands while you sleep.  My large stain hooded scarf is my favorite, but it sometimes slides, so I always sleep with a satin pillowcase.  Do not go cheap on your hair covering or you might as well not bother.  Most of the generic beauty supply scarves are not enough to keep cotton from sucking the moisture out of your hair.  If you can see through it or your fingers catch on the fabric, it won’t cut it.  Wait for a good Black Friday sale, and get a double-lined satin/charmeuse scarf.  I haven’t purchased any of her products due to price, but Eboni of EboniCurls has a good Youtube video on this.  As I mentioned in my last Black Friday haul, I purchased my hair bonnet from BonBons Cheveux Boutique.  I purchased my roomy hooded scarf from Crystal's Coifs, but it appears that it is no longer in business.  Most of my pillowcases are the Betty Dain brand, which is reasonably priced.
What are some of your essential hair tools?  Let me know if you think I missed something!
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Saturday, October 18, 2014

11 Essential Tools For Your Hair Toolbox Part 1

In January, I did a post on products for yourhair toolbox.  I just realized that I never did one on hair tools. Here are the ones on my list:

  1. Wide Tooth Comb - This is optional.  Some women use one, and some rely solely on their fingers.  I use my fingers to detangle regularly.  But, I find that, with my curl pattern, I have to do an intensive detangling periodically with a wide tooth comb.  I have two Hercules Sageman Magic Star Rake combs, but I've found that I actually prefer my cheap jumbo rake combs made by Annie and Diane these days.
  1. Soft Boar Bristle Brush - Again, this is an optional tool because not everyone uses one.  You also have to be careful if you have fine strands like me.  I only use my boar bristle brush if I want a sleek bun or puff.  Also, my boar bristle brush has hairs that are almost as soft as a baby brush.
  1. Headbands - I have a ton of these.  I use thick, decorative ones when I don’t want to brush my edges but I still want a neater look.  I use thin, stretched out ones to do my buns and puffs.  My hair is too thick to gather it all up with a ponytail holder (I’ve broken a lot of them trying and I get headaches from them).

  1. Ponytail Holders - I use these mainly for sectioning my hair to deep condition and wash it.  I also sometimes use a couple of these, once my hair is already in a bun, to catch any remaining strands or flyaways.  I buy these in bulk because my hair snaps them easily.  Some people use the stretchy lace kind, but I’m a bigger fan of the traditional Goody or Scunci ones, which are cheap and effective.  Plus, my hair is too big for the tiny lace ones.  Just don’t buy the ones with metal clamps because these can snag your hair.
  1. Hairpins - These should be self-explanatory.  I have not met a natural yet, who does not have a stash of hair pins.  This is another cheap tool that I usually buy in bulk, but I also have travel packs.
  1. Hair Clamps - Now that my hair is longer, I don’t use these as often as I used to, but alligator clips and roller clamps are still great for sectioning off the hair to flat twist or braid.  I also use duckbill clips to set my part for a wash n’ go.
I'll try to post part 2 soon. 

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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Product Review: Annabelle's Perfect Blend Birthday Cake Hair Creme

Price:  $10 for 4 oz.

Ingredients:   Water, Behentrimonium Methosulfate (and) Cetearyl Alcohol, Castor Seed Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, Linseed Seed Oil, Hemp Seed Oil, Cocoa Seed Butter, Shea Butter Fruit, Cetyl Alcohol, Sodium Lactate, Pathenol (Vitamin B5), Diazolidinyl Urea and Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Fragrance

Promise:  Our rich and creamy Hair Crème will add moisture and shine to the dryest hair! This crème can be used on damp or dry hair daily without weighing it down. Whether your hair is natural, permed, or relaxed, you will love the results!

Scent:  Smells like white chocolate cake batter

  Good buttercream frosting (like Just Baked cream cheese frosting from the red velvet cupcake if you live in Michigan)

Results:  I was a little hesitant to use this with the butters, but water as the first ingredient convinced me.  I’m glad it did.  I used this as a leave in, a sealant, a moisturizer and a styler and it worked every way.  It made my hair feel awesome and surprisingly moisturizing.  Also, a little goes a long way, but I still think it was expensive for 4 oz.  I will likely buy this again if there is a sale because it rocks, just not enough to pay full price.

Love it, Like it or Leave It:  Love It
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Saturday, October 4, 2014

My HHJ Reflection Two Years In (Part 2)

Hey, beautiful people!  After I posted my top 5 things that I learned last week, I thought of five more:

6.      A little protein is my friend.  A lot is not.  Low porosity hair usually doesn't need a lot of protein, but my hair is also fine.  Fine hair usually needs protein, so the result is that my hair really likes moisturizing deep conditioners with a little protein in them.  It gets really hard with any protein that is on the stronger side.
7.      What I thought was a lot of conditioner or gel is not.  While my hair is fine, it is also super thick, so I need a lot of product to get through my strands.  When I condition, I usually use gobs of conditioner.  If I split my hair into 4 sections, I usually use a 2 palm-fulls of conditioner per section.  It is the same with gel.  I used to wonder why I could not slick down my edges with gel, and then I realized that I simply wasn’t using enough.  I need about a palm-full for the front, and two palm-fulls for the back.  For me, a palm-full is about a half cup or a golf ball-sized amount.  As a result, I have opted for cheaper conditioners, like Herbal Essence, and gels, like Eco Styler.
8.       My low porosity hair doesn't need to be moisturized daily.  One of the benefits and drawbacks of low porosity hair is that it takes forever to dry.  As I’m typing this, my hair has been airdrying for about 10 hours, and it is still wet.  As a result, I also don’t need to moisturize everyday.  Sometimes, when I put my hair in a bun, the inside of the bun will stay wet all week and I just need to moisturize the outer edges every couple days.
9.      I am a “lazy natural”.  I liked wigs because it was easy to do my hair at the beginning of the week and just put a wig on it every day.  On the weekends, I would wash and go because that was also easy.  Once I could do a puff, I did that.  Now that my hair is longer, I put it in a bun and keep the same bun until it starts to look a little rough.  I am not the type of natural that loves to do intricate styles, though I am going to push myself to do more styling in this next year.  If you are a lazy natural like me, Tribe Called Curl has a great Youtube series for lazy naturals.

10.    Cowash is nice, but shampoo/soap is necessary.  Low porosity hair is prone to buildup.  Also, now that I’m using cheaper conditioners, it is good to do a good cleansing periodically.  I’ve found that I can’t just use conditioners to cleanse my hair.  I need to use something with actual cleansing agents on occasion.

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

My HHJ Reflection Two Years In

Hey, beautiful people!  A little over two years ago, I made the decision to stop relaxing my hair, and I just realized that I almost let my two year anniversary pass without any reflection.  In the past two years, I've learned quite a bit about my natural hair and made some changes to my regimen.  Here are my top five things:
  1. My low porosity hair needs time and heat to absorb conditioners.  For my deep conditioners, the best way for me to use them is to do my deep conditioner overnight under a plastic cap with my body heat to help it absorb.  The second best is to use a heat cap for 20 minutes.
  2. I don't need to avoid silicones.  When I first started my natural hair journey, I avoided any and all silicones.  Now, I've learned that certain silicones are ok.  Also, my favorite rinse out conditioner is not all-natural, and contains cones.  I'll be discussing this in more detail in a later post.
  3. I'm moving away from the wigs.  For most of the last two years, I would wear wigs during the week and play with my hair on the weekend.  As my hair has gotten longer, I've been wearing more buns and puffs to work.  This next year, I want to try even more professional styles, though I need them to be quick.  I hope to try installing my own spring twists before the baby arrives, but I'm running out of time.
  4. I don't need gel to wash and go.  At first, I thought the only product I could successfully wash and go with was Kinky Curly Curling Custard, then I discovered Uncle Funky's Daughter's Curly Magic (old formula).  Over this past summer, I also had some successful wash and gos with conditioner and with Jane Carter's Curl Defining Cream.  In this next year, I want to try other options.
  5. The best spray moisturizer is the one I make myself.  I tried a few commercial moisturizing spritzes before I realized that they were a waste of money.  What they all had in common was water and oil, and some only had those ingredients.  Now, I make my own and it works great for my hair.  In this next year, I want to try adding silk amino acids to my spritz.  I also want to try making other products for my hair toolbox, like black soap shampoo, flax seed gel, a leave-in conditioner with slippery elm or marshmallow root, and a moisturizing cream with BTMS.
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