Thursday, June 25, 2009

Busy Busy Bee

My goodness, as I said, these past couple of weeks have truly been hectic!!!!

Finals weren't TOO bad (thank God), but moving was! It took nearly three days for my boyfriend and I to move stuff out of our dorms and into new apartment (Friday through Sunday)... PLUS the baby's stuff. Needless to say we got it all finished. I also managed to straighten my hair after my second six week stretch just before finals week. Results below:
WHEW, I know... I look a mess lol.

The "v" in my hair is still significant, yet I most definitely noticed growth. I co-washed my hair and deep conditioned for nearly 2 hours, no heat, with Pantene's R&N Breakage Defense Mask. Rinsed, and blow dried my hair on a semi-low setting, no comb attatched. Instead, I combed freely, just to have a bit more control. Afterwards, I flat ironed on a semi low setting, didn't curl/bump the ends.

That night I put my hair in a giant bantu knot on the top of my hair and these were the results the next morning:

I posted this picture because the henna color can easily be seen. I LOVE IT! Sorry for my hiatus, but I plan to pot more often now that I'm all settled.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Keeping it Curly

I am nearing the end of my second 6-week no heat stretch.  It's had its pros and cons. The pros, most obviously, are NO HEAT DAMAGE... Considering the hot steamy weather Cincinnati has been experiencing, I don't mind a little sweat on my forehead.  If my hair were straight, it'd be a whole 'nother story!  My bangs, especially, have the tendency to shrink up quickly.  Maybe I'll stretch another two weeks or so, depending on my mood.

I have been having trouble finding the time to set my curly hair into a style.  Wash-n-go's just aren't cutting it these days... I haven't been sticking to my routine as of late and my hair is most definitely reaping the consequences.  I had planned to do a deep treatment and truly pamper my tresses, but I was away from all of my hair products for the weekend, busy w/ family graduations/parties and school.  Instead I've still been rocking the buns.  They have been extremely plain; either low or high, no accessories (headbands, earrings, etc)... UGH.  I really need to step my game up!  I just feel like so much is going on at the moment.  Finals are next week so I HAVE to buckle down, I need to finish off my freshman year of college with a bang.  Maybe I'll try another bantu knot set sometime this week... possibly Wednesday evening?  I don't know, but I need to do something FAST.

Aside from hair, and on to make-up... I began wearing my Bare Escentials foundation once again.  It is much more natural looking and doesn't have an ugly reaction to camera flash... Can't remember why I stopped using it in the first place.

P.S. - Finally secured furniture for the new apartment.  Move out of my dorms and into my new apartment June 13th.  Ah, these next few weeks will truly be hectic.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Henna Results

As promised, FINALLY, here are the results from my henna experience.

Products Used:
  • 2 packs of Dulhan Henna
  • Honey
  • Apple Cidar Vinegar 
  • Green Tea
  • Water (not pictured)
I didn't get any pictures of the application process, it was stressful enough!  lol, but here are the pictures immediately after rinsing out the DT.  Also, I stood by a window so the hint of red could easily be picked up.

The looser curl pattern can be seen here, although it's not drastic.  My hair has always hung pretty long when wet, but shrinks up a good amount when dry.  Below are pictures of how I styled my hair... it was the day of my daughter's 1st B-day party, I originally planned on doing a wash and go but I was nervous about how my hair, post henna, would look dry.  So I opted for a handy dandy bun instead!

**[Side Note] Yuck, powder face!  My foundation does NOT photograph well!

Below are pictures of my hair a couple days post henna.

Notes the red?  I love it!
My first wash and go after my henna application, I was PLEASENTLY surprised... This is 5 days later.
6 days later... sorry for the PDA, but these pictures were taken facing the sunlight so the red is REALLY picked up.

So, there ya have it... I personally love my henna'ed hair and plan to do it again in about another 3 weeks or so.  Hopefully I can build it into my regime on a monthly basis.  Aside from these two days of my hair being out, I have unintentionally been bunning.  With school nearing its end, I really need to buckle down.  My hair has most definitely taken a back seat but I can whole heartedly say that it looks, feels, and IS healthier...  When detangling in the shower, I experience a significant less mount of shedding, especially after having my hair in a bun for 2-3 days straight!  

My bun process has been to:
  • Co-wash
  • Detangle
  • Treat w/ Lustrasilk
  • Rinse
  • Apply Lustrasilk & Aussie Moist Leave-In
  • Apply Organic Root Stimulater Olive Oil moisturizer
  • Next is Shea Butter
  • Pull into a HIGH bun, slicking/smoothing with my hands.
  • Afterwards, use my child's baby brush to get the edges (lol, it's soft enough)
  • Secure with Ouchless Goodie hair tie, once just to hold the hair in place, and another to hold down the bun
  • Apply shea butter (again), this time to my edges
  • Throw on a headband and wah-lah!  
At night I tie it down with a satin scarf.  That's about it.  I REALLY need to treat my hair this weekend, do a really good deep treatment (with or without heat) and maybe repeat my bantu knots... haven't done those in a whole.  Be back with an update later!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Henna = Success!

[let me apologize now for any grammatical errors in this post!  I am rushing to update before studying for my exam!]

So I finally Henna'd Saturday night!!!

I originally planned on waiting to blog about my henna experience until I finally uploaded all of the pictures onto my laptop, but my upload course isn't with me at the moment, but the camera is!  BUT I PROMISE, pics to document my experience will be up as soon as possible.

What I used:
2 boxes of Dulhan Henna
Apple Cidar Vinegar
Tuber-Ware dish
Big metal spoon

I started by dumping 2 boxes (200g) of Dulhan (cheap Indian grocery store Henna, 1.99 per box) into a bowl.  I then added ACV to the mix until the consistency was very thick, not too hard to stir but difficult enough.  I smoothed it out a bit more with a cup of cooled green tea until it was manageable, a bit thicker than mashed potatoes.  I then added honey (didn't measure, I just kept stirring in until the texture was smoother/easier to stir)... afterwards, I added about half a cup of water to get it to the perfect consistency. 

I then co-washed my hair with a bit of Herbal Hessences HH conditioner, mainly to detangle before applying.  Next, my cousin began to apply the mix to my hair, starting at the back/nape of my neck working her way up (similar to the process of relaxing).  She applied it really thick, making sure it was touching my roots all the way down to my ends.  The process go a bit messy, henna occasionally splattering on the floor, towel (draped around my neck) and on the bathtub, but we cleaned it up soon enough.

The entire mix was applied around 10:45pm.  I wrapped it in 2 grocery bags, making sure to secure the edges from seepage/spilling and wiped the remaining henna from around my hairline, neck, and ears.

The smell wasn't all that great but I got used to it.  Sleeping wasn't the most comfortable but I managed.  I woke up the next morning and rinsed around 10:30am.  It took forever!!!!  I used the kitchen sink, the only place my mom didn't mind a bit of staining had it happened.  I rinsed and co-washed at least 5-6 times with Aussie Moist conditioner.  Immediately I noticed how much THICKER my hair felt, I'm sure a great deal of it had to do with henna paste still left inside, but even after I felt like the majority of it was out, my hair still felt a lot thicker/heavier.  When rinsing/detangling, there was a SIGNIFICANT amount of LESS shedding.  I was so surprised!  I also didn't have a dry haystack like some have reported after their henna use, even tho I used a strong acid in my mix. 

After co-washing, I then applied Pantene Pro-V Breakage Defense Deep Conditioning Mask along with Aussie Moist, and covered it in plastic.  I left this deep conditioner in for 2-3 hours, no heat.  It was the day of my daughter's 1st birthday so I left it on while cleaning/setting up decorations.  Once rinsing out the deep conditioner, I couldn't believe how strong yet soft my hair was!  I couldn't stop touching it.  Not to mention the color!  It is subtle, yet strong enough for people to notice.  I didn't have much time to style my henna'd hair so I threw it up in a nice and chic bun for my daughter's party.

All in all, the results are love!  My boyfriend can definitely see a difference.  As for the potential of having a looser curl pattern after henna, I noticed just a bit in my crown/front area, where my curl pattern is already a bit looser than the rest of my hair.  But for me, the henna's loosening effect worked in my favor, all of my curls (except the ends) have been loosened just a bit, so they all blend together well!  Not sure how this would work on the next curly girl, though.

Five days after applying the henna, my hair is still reaping all of the benefits; the reddish tent (although toned down a bit from Sunday), strength, less shedding, and (not a benifit but an effect) the smell.  I'm having trouble ridding this issue, but I only notice it when in the shower during washes.

I am very excited about henna and continue to use it in my future.  Heck, this is only my FIRST application, I can't imagine the results after the second (third or fourth)!


  • The smell (this may not be an issue for all, but it bothered me just a bit.  The smell was still there even after co-washing/styling.
  • Difficulty of application/removal
  • Loosening effect of curls 
  • Easier manageability of hair
  • Increased strength (less shedding)
  • Less naps/knots at ends (for me at least)
  • The color
Pictures will be posted as soon as possible!  All in all, I will most definitely be using henna again!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I finally bought my Henna!

I found an Indian grocery store not too far from my college campus.  I went in, purchased 5 100g boxes of Dulhan (Cheapie Henna) as well as some Vatika oil.... Initially, I was SUPER excited to get home and throw it all in my head, but now I'm kind of freaking out.  What if I don't do it right?

All of my recent hair drama has me REALLY shaky about tryin this henna... I really want the conditiong/strength/less shedding/less frizz effects, but I don't want the dry/hay-like feel of it like a couple of other people have reported experiencing.... 

Last Thursday up until today, my hair has been BLAH.  Last Monday, I did my usual co-wash, condition, and two-strand twist.  I left the twists in all day Tuesday and wore them in a bun.  Wednesday, I took the twists out and rocked a twist out... This time it was different tho, not sure how and or why, I used all of the same products.

Needless to say, Thursday morning, my hair was a mess.  I threw it up in a ponytail/bun and said to hell with it.  Friday, I did a normal wash and go, which started off pretty cute.  However, while apartment searching that day, it rained so the humidity/rain drops made my hair frizz in the most random spots.  Truly annoying... so, another bun saved the day.  This bun remained all through the weekend up until Monday morning.  

Sunday evening while grocery shopping, I saw Krogers was having a sale on some hair products.... being the budding Product Junkie that I am, I just HAD to buy something.  I purchased Garnier Fructis Wonder Waves Fortifying Cream Conditioner... 13oz for $ 2.39 (opposed to $7)

Product Description:
  • For wavy hair.
  • Reinforced Active Fruit Concentrate:
    • Vitamins B3 + B6
    • Lightweight Moisturizers
  • Pre-styles waves and tames frizz for flowing cascades.
  • Garnier Fructis Strength & Repair System provides deep therapy to help repair and protect damaged hair, leaving it smooth and healthy-looking.
    1. Intensely nourishes over-processed, damaged hair.
    2. Works inside the hair strand to help fortify and repair damage.
    3. Smoothes and softens for healthy-looking hair.
  • With Nutritive Fruit Micro-Oils:
    • Apricot + Avocado Oil + Ceramide Reconstructor
    • Acts deep within and on the surface of your hair to strengthen & smooth each strand
  • Results: The Garnier Fructis Strength & Repair system makes hair up to 5x stronger, up to 5x smoother and so much shinier - Garnier Fructis Strength & Repair System of shampoo, conditioner, and deep conditioner.
  • For hair that shines with all its strength.
  • Create and control any style you want with Garner Fructis Style.

So I went on and co-washed my hair using Herbal Essences HH first, followed up by this product.  I left it on and rinsed lightly, leaving whatever conditioner that was in inside.  However, 2 hours later, no joke, I was brushing it all back up into a bun.  It was a frizzy, poofy, disgusting, dry-looking mess!!!  I was so disappointed.  I read on the back that one of the top ingredients was listed as PEG so I searched this ingredient online and read that it is known to strip African American hair, no wonder!  I quickly gave the product away to my dorm neighbor!

I also purchased this combo:
Esencia by Samy... it claims to be 100% Vegan, Organic, Sulfate/Paraben Free....

I wasn't crazy for the smell and or consistancy of the shampoo or the conditioner.  I can't really say if I loved it or hated it, but my hair most definitely didn't seem to have any moisture to it.It looks a whole lot better than it did the past couple of days or so.  "Volumizing" was the only type of shampoo/condish that they had, and both were relatively inexpensive ($7.99, free w/ mail-in rebates)... however the cashier only charged me for one bottle, idk.  I researched this product and haven't found much of anything on line, maybe they have a hydrating shampoo and conditioner?

I'd love to be cone/sulfate-free, essentially all organic.  Ah, what's a girl to do.

So, have any of you ladies had any experiences with this brand of hair products???
Also, any more advice to share on henna?  I need to know!!! lol

Monday, May 4, 2009

Happy 1st Birthday Aniyah Marie!!!

Today I'm wishing my baby a VERY big happy first birthday!  Wow, I cant believe it has been a year already, ahh!

Mommy loves you!

(On a hair note... I co-washed my hair FINALLY yesterday morning... I missed my curls! :))

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Straight Hair and the Kiddie Section

Straight Hair = Boring!

LOL, not really. I honestly did miss having the straight look on me, but I find it more difficult to keep up than my curls.  I know, sounds crazy, right?  Well, I'm worried about it being dry, and besides my 100% unrefined shea butter,  I haven't put anything else in it (except a smidge of my Olive Oil).  I don't want to overload it with products and have it look greasy/stringy, and with my curls, I never have this problem!  I throw in some Lustrasilk or Herbal Hessences and go on my way!  (well, it's not really that simple but you get my point).   

I've worn it in a ponytail with a single braid these past two days.... Rain rain rain means humidity humidity humidity!  A mess, but I'm still reveling at the growth... I mean honestly, I notice a huge difference and so does everyone else.  I'm sure it could also have something to do with my hair being shrunken in its natural state, but idk... I miss my curls.  I'll most likely wash my hair (FINALLY) tomorrow or Saturday and back to being Miss Curly Sue :)

ON A COMPLETELY different note,  today shopping was so frustrating!

My daughter's first birthday is this upcoming monday (May 4th), and her father and I went shopping.  We got her her birthday gifts as well as a couple outfits... He picked out the most adorable Ralph Lauren outfit ever, and we decided we'd try and match her for birthday party.  Now, I don't want to sound ungrateful (not really the word I'm looking for), but there is most definitely such a thing as being "too skinny" for clothes like others claim to be "too fat."  It makes no sense that I am a ninteen year old college freshman but can STILL fit in "Girls" sizes... Yes, meaning sizes 7-16!  I was so frustrated... When looking through the women's Ralph Lauren collection at Macy's, I looked like a little girl trying to dress up in my big sister's clothes... quite depressing.  So, I found a couple tops that I jokingly tried on, and to my surprise, they fit!  And not only did the shirts fit, but the shorts as well!

So I guess now when I want to wear something Ralph Lauren, I know which department to look in ::sigh:: ( :-/  )

Anyway, I'll update later...

--Allie B, lovin' life, lovin' me!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Future Henna Head???

This image sort of shows my curl pattern (or lack there of)... This was back in February during my first wash and go.  As you can see, certain parts of my hair are extremely curly, others just seem to amount to a clump of frizz (SO FRUSTRATING!).  Luckily, my twist outs/bantu knot outs have served as a bit of a remedy to this issue, but my main concern with henna is its loosening effect.  I actually look forward to the potential of my hair to turn a reddish color (I know it won't be super significant, but still!).... so, when I heard the Alma powder would reverse the loosening effect, I began to look it up right away.

However, I still have a few questions... 

How well the alma effect the coloring effect of the henna dye?
How much alma versus henna powder needs to be added????
What to mix the alma and henna with?  

UGH, so much to find out in so little time.  Hopefully I can get my first Henna treatment in by next Friday (May 8th)... I plan to do it over the weekend, I'll need as much time as possible!  Anyway, I'll update again soon...

--Allie B, loving life, loving me!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Flat Iron

Sooo, I went ahead and straightened the hair.  Saturday, I co-washed with Aussie Moist conditioner, followed up w/ Cholestorol Shea Butter + Mango, detangled... and let sit for about 5 mins.  Rinsed, and applied Pantene's R&N Breakage Defense Deep Conditioning mask.  I wrapped in a plastic bag, finished in the shower, and let sit for an additional 15 min.  Afterwards, I rinsed with cold water, spritzed lightly with Aussie Leave-In, applied a bit of Olive Oil Root Stimulator and a TAD bit of 100% shea butter. and then my sister applied Fantasia IC Heat Protectant.  She proceeded to blow dry, starting from the back all the way up to the front:

Afterwards, she spritzed lightly once again with the IC Heat Protectant and straightened it with her GVP flat iron... The curls quickly fell about 2-3 hours later, I passed on a holding spray/spritz... wanted to use the least amount of harmful chemically infused products as possible!   At the ball I danced the night away, and to my surprise, my hair wasn't a complete mess!  There were places where it frizzed up, mainly my hairline and the very back.  Once I got home, I applied a bit more of 100% raw shea butter and wrapped in my satin scarf.... I plan to keep it straight for at least a week. 

Before heading out:

Next Day (this morning):

(excuse me looking a darn-right mess... long night!)

BTW, I am SUPRISED at the growth.  Almost six weeks of buns and curly styles has aided in at least an inch of growth.... if not more.  I seriously doubt that it is my imagination!  I guess the non-heat, low manipulation really has served its purpose.... if I keep this up, I may be hitting my new goal of waist-length by January of 2009!!!  But anyway, it's late... I need to get to bed so i can get up for classes in the morning. 


--Allie B, loving life, loving me!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Flat iron it is....

A friend who stays in the same dormitory as me, (long, beautiful, healthy, natural hair), maintains her own styles by herself and said she'd do mine this saturday for the Krimson and Kream Ball.  I washed using Pantene Pro-V R&N either ath the beginning of the month, or the end of the last.  Either way, I don't have much build-up  So, my routine will most likely be to: co-wash, most likely with Herbal Essences HH or V05, deep condition with Pantene R&N Breakage Defense Mask.... I've used it before and it left my hair feeling ridiculously soft.  Afterwards, I'll apply a little Shea Butter + Mango Cholesterol, let sit, rinse, spritz with Aussie Leave-in, moisturize with Olive Oil, seal with Shea Butter, and apply IC heart protectant spray that I just bought today (7.99).  Then I'll proceed to blow dry (low heat), and flat iron!  Pics will most definitely be posted.

Today, I'm rocking a bun from a twist out that I did Tuesday night...  I wore it to the date auction yesterday, it worked pretty well, but today it's a mess!!! Tonight I will take it down, re-moisturize it and throw it in a low pony/bun for tomorrow.  Another update soon!

BTW, I also purchased Aphogee's 2-step protein treatment... but I'm a bit nervous about applying it to my hair.  I need to read up a lot more before doing it!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

To Straigthen or Not to Straighten?

University of Cincinnati's Krimson and Kream Kappa Ball is this saturday, and I REALLY want a grown and sexy look for the evening.... I'm stressing about what to do with my hair! Today makes 5 weeks since my hair last recieved heat (blow dry and flat iron @ Paul Mitchell's Hair School).... My goal was a 6 week stretch until the next, and Saturday would make it 5 weeks and 4 days, close enough right? Lol. However, I KNOW that I'm going to get all sweaty and my hair style will ineveitable be sweated out, at least my roots and whatever pieces fall on my face. If I wore my hair in a natural style, this wouldn't be a problem.... UGH, I don't know what to do. I need to decide soon!


Tomorrow, a friend and I are participating in Xavier University's date auction to help raise money. I was thinking about doing a regular old twist out or trying a different bantu knot technique... Hm.... we'll see how I feel after tonight's evening class. Much love!

--Allie B, Lovin' Life Lovin' Me

Monday, April 20, 2009

Wavy Coil Results

Results from Wes' Wavy Coil:

The "coiled" ends:

After untwisting.... they were slightly damp in the back, but SUPER soft and SUPER shiny.
After again... before fluffing
Used about 4 bobby pins to pin the sides back:

The look didn't completely resemble Wes', but I think I got the general idea.  LATER IN THE EVENING, about 12 hours later...  A little frizz developed due to the humidity in the air plus my daughter constantly trying to grab the curls... she messed up but I re-pinned with the bobby pins.
Top shot, still in the evening....

Today makes it my second day hair.  I put it in a high "pineapple" ponytail to help salvage the curls and wrapped in a satin scarf.  This morning, I woke up and the ends were still curly, however the front part was a bit too frizzy for me to wear down.  I could have if I took the time to seal with shea butter and re-moisturize , but instead I threw it in a low pony.  I should have salvaged the hairstyle, but instead I was lazy.  Tomorrow night I will probably do another twist out or a bantu knot out... I'm still deciding.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

My Bunny Bun Bun...

Friday I decided to go out last minute.  I hadn't washed my hair since that Wednesday when I did a wash and go, so it was looking quite raggedy/dry.  I hadn't been staying in my dorm room and because of it I was away from all of my goodie products.  So when I finally got back to my room, I didn't have time to properly co-wash, condition, moisturize, etc.  So I through it up into a high bun, applied Olive Oil moisturizer, and applied shea butter to my edges...  I thought it looked all right, I decided to go for the whole "ballerina" look, lol.

ALSO, I'm very proud of myself for applying my own makeup for the evening!  Since I started this whole hair journey, I began to get more interested in the makeup scene... I'm apart of the whole DIY movement, lol.  The only eye makeup I would use is the one received with the Bare Escentuals Stater kit 'Eyes, Lips, Cheek'.  I also use their foundation.  

Here's a pic of the kit:

Last week I ordered E.L.F. cosmetics makeup.  These are the colors used last night:

It's not bad at all, especially since it only cost $1!!!

Hair and Makeup Pics Below:

I know I have a lot to learn, but that's what these blogs are for!  

I'll post pictures of my hair, results from my rendition of Wes' Wavy Coil, later in the evening.  So far today's been misty, rainy, humid, and all around ugly.  I spent the majority of the early afternoon driving around, my hair poofed up just a bit but not a whole lot.  

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Wes' (HoneyBrownSugar) Wavy Coil Out

Always wanting to try different styles, I finally decided to give the 'Wavy Coil' a try... I used the technique as described by Wes.

1. Co-Washed w/ Hello Hydration
2. Detangled (finger combed)
3. Applied Lustrasilk's Shea Butter + Mango, placed under a plastic baggy and finished up shower duties.
4. Rinsed with cool/luke warm water
5. Towel dried a bit, spritzed with Aussie Leave In conditioner
6. Applied Olive Oil Moisturizer all over
7. Proceeded to twist ends and sealed with 100% Pure Unrefined African Shea Butter
8. Twisted/rolled w/ straws.

I have yet to see the results, but I'm hoping it gives me a new, wearable look. I want to change the "stigma" of natural hair being wild, unmanageable, and unattractive. A lot of people are closed-minded when it comes to natural hairstyles and tend to play it safe with straighter styles. There's nothing wrong with that, I like my hair straight as well but I love the freedom to alternate between the two! Over the past 2 weeks I've gotten many complements on my bantu knots and I just needed something new. Pics below...

Products Used:

(above pic) hair wet
Hair wet (to show length)

I REALLY hope this turns out wonderfully! Wish me luck!