Monday, December 31, 2012

Signs of Product Buildup

Since I use more natural hair ingredients, than synthetic ones, I do not encounter a lot of product buildup. I do wash my hair with a sulfate-free shampoo at least once a month (at the end of the month). If my hair or the girls' hair looks a bit dull, I will clarify their hair. This tells me that they have product build up.

Apart from dullness in hair, here are some other signs that your hair might have product build up:

  • Your hair and scalp has a coated feeling. 
  • Your hair lack movement and body causing it to feel limp and flat
  • Your sulfate-free shampoo or conditioner does not seem as effective as usual. If you use shampoo, it might not lather as well as it use to lather. If you use conditioners, it might sit on your hair instead of penetrating it.
  • You are experiencing hair breakage even though you have no hard water, you balance your protein and moisture in your regiment, and you are gentle with your hair.

Removal of Product Buildup

To remove product buildup, you can use any sulfate shampoos or a clarifying shampoo.  Due to the stripping effect of clarifying shampoo, use it only once a month.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Washing my Mini Twists and LCO method

After 5 days of having my mini twists done, my scalp starting itching. Not sure what was causing it. The last time this happened was back in April when I had my transitioning hair cornrowed.

Instead of undoing the 3 hours of work I put into getting my hair twisted (my hands are still sore from that), I decided to just go ahead and wash my hair while it was in twists.

In the past, I have done this while I was transitioning. Read all about it here. It was a failure! I stated in that April 2012 post that I will try it again when I am fully natural. I was hoping for wonderful results.

It was worse than before!!!

I was so upset at myself that I did not even take a picture. And if you know me well, I take pictures of EVERYTHING!

Anyway, here is what I did, so if anyone can tell me what I did wrong, I will be very grateful!!

  • End of month clarifying my hair with Giovanni 50:50 Balanced Hydrating Clarifying Shampoo
  • Due to the itchiness, used Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Invigorating Conditioner for my mild conditioner and scalp (left it in for 5 mins)
  • Did a 1 hour deep conditioning with Giovanni Smooth As Silk Deeper Moisture Conditioner
After this was done, for some reason, my hair felt extra dry. Could be because I did not pre-poo.. not sure. Anywhooooo....

I decided to do some cornrows and twists. Since my ends were super dry, I used the LCO method and love the way it moisturized my hair.

Before I cornrow or twist a section, I first spritz my hair with water, apply Shea Moisture Organic Curl & Style Hair Milk and then Jamaican Black Castor Oil.


My hair felt so soft and my ends were moist! It was as if the Natural Hair Fairy God mother just sprinkled some moisture goodness on them. I was impressed!!

Here is the style:

Friday, December 28, 2012

LOC Method vs LCO Method

Since starting this natural hair journey, I have been using the LOC Method to moisturize my hair.  It has proven to me a great way to keep my hair moisturized for a couple of days.  I would spritz my hair with water, apply some oil, and then a moisturizing cream. 
I have been reading The Science of Black Hair for a couple of weeks now and really learning a lot about how to care for my natural hair. I share lots of tips on my Facebook page (DiscoveringNatural) According to the author:
"Oils work to form an impenetrable barrier so that moisture contained within a strand stays there. The problem with oils is that any moisture that might attempt to enter the strands is kept out after they are applied"
When I read this I was like, Hold on.. What?!
From what I just read that means that when you apply your Liquid, which in my case was water, and then apply your oil, the oil seals in the moisture from the water, and then when I put my cream last, the cream would not penetrate the hair.
The birth of the LCO method
The LCO method suggests using your oil last after the cream so as to seal in the moisture from the Liquid and Cream.
I have not done this method before, but plan to experiment with this in the month of January. I will post my results.
Do any of you do the LCO method? What has been your experience?

Transitioning Styles that WORK!


Styling can be such a struggle when dealing with two textures of hair. Your relaxed ends can prevent a beautiful style from turning out well. While transitioning, I struggled a lot with my twist outs but my braid outs always comes out perfect.  However, now that I am natural, my twists outs come out nice and I am still working on my braid outs.

Failed twist outs. Look at those Relaxed Ends. (pics from my Instagram page: DiscoveringNatural)

What styles work well while Transitioning?

Cornrows Braid Out


Roll N Tuck

Braid Out

Bantu Knot Out

Flat Twist Out

Some other styles that work are roller sets, buns, and using extensions. While transitioning, I never used extensions because I didn't want to deal with my edges getting damaged and breaking.

For all my transitioning pictures, click here.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Mini Twists and My Ends

After all the festivities of Christmas was over, what better way to relax than to do some mini twists on my hair.  Nooooot!!!  It took me over 3 hours, luckily, Big Sis kept me company. She is such a sweetie. I watched the finale of Survivor, my favorite reality show, while she read one of her downloaded Kindle books.

Now, about my ends. While I was twisting my hair, my ends felt weird. One thing I notice is that it only feels weird when I bunch the hair together. If I look at the strands individually, they look fine. No split ends.. nothing!. Maybe they felt that way because I twisted on dry hair.

Prior to doing the mini twists, my hair was in a twist out that I wore for the day...

I sectioned my hair into 5 parts. Two sections in front and three at the back. I spritz my hair with water, applied some whipped shea butter and started twisting. I start from the back and worked my way to the front bangs area.

Here are the final results. I plan... yeah... you know how that goes... I PLAN to leave this on my little head for 2 weeks ... tops.. !! LOL!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas!
Enjoy the day! Eat...and... be...merry!!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Video Tutorial; My Wash Day

This is a requested video on how I wash my hair. It is a very simple process that consists of 4 parts.

Step 1: Pre-poo Treatment

Pre-pooing is the process of applying oils and/or conditioners to your hair prior to shampooing it. The shampoo process can strip your hair of much needed oils and by pre-pooing you are doing sort of a hot oil treatment to your
hair to lock in moisture prior to washing your hair. By maintaining moisture, it helps prevent your hair from breaking. It also helps in detangling the hair when it is applied while finger-comb your hair. I always do this step on my main wash day. If I co-wash mid-week, I do not do this step.

Step 2: Co-wash or Shampoo

I shampoo once a month with a sulfate free shampoo, but co-wash weekly.

Step 3: Deep conditioning

I always deep condition my hair once a week. This helps me with my moisture level and reduces breakage.

Step 4: Moisturize, Seal, and Style

Before manipulating my hair, I make sure to moisturize my hair to help reduce breakage and provide adequate friction during the styling process.

Here is the video demonstrating the steps above.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Sharing Kids' Hair Care with The Man

Earlier this year, I was at the soccer field talking with another soccer mom about ... yeah... hair. She started saying how her husband combs her daughter's hair and puts bows in it. I was like, ....errr... really!?. Hmm... this got me thinking... I have never thought of involving my husband in the care of the girls' hair. I don't even think he had ever combed the girls' hair before.

The next day, we started the learning process.

It is very important for us to incorporate our spouses, partners, and other people that will be involved in the care of the child's hair.  Share the knowledge!!

You can start by teaching him/her about doing the LOC method to moisturize the child's hair. It's as simple as that.  He might not know all the natural hair terminology, but let him practice the little things like brushing the kids hair.  My husband can't braid or do twists (even with Lil Sis trying to teach him LOL), but he does a good job at getting her hair ready for school; moisturized, sealed, and brushed.

Morning Hair Routine

L - (Liquid) - Spritz hair with water

O - (Oil) - Apply oil to scalp and hair
C- (Cream) - Apply cream to hair

Seal ends of hair with Whipped Shea Butter

Brush hair lightly to catch any flyaways

Is your spouse or partner involved in the hair care of your child?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Hair Challenges with Kids

As a mom to two girls with different hair needs, it can be quite challenging figuring out what works for both girls and myself. Sometimes, what works on one child might not work on the other.

Struggles with Big Sis's hair

Big Sis has a more kinkier texture of hair. If you are into hair typing, you can say that she is mostly a 4C with a pinch of 4B. Her hair absorbs products well, she has normal hair porosity. The main struggle we have with her hair is with her napes. This tends to be the area that gets dry too quickly. She also has Hand-in-Hair (HIH) Syndrome (HIH), which causes her to always pick at that area. We are working on that.  The other issue we have is that the ends of her hair tends to be a bit dry. I have to seal her ends with Shea Butter to help lock in the moisture. I have not yet found any product that her hair does not like.

Struggles with Lil Sis's hair

I always refer to Lil Sis's hair as "Diva" hair. One day her hair can like a product, then the next month or season, her hair totally does not react to the product well. She has hair that ranges in the 3c, 4a-c. Her hair lacks shine if the right product is not applied to her hair. Her hair prefers to be co-washed instead of shampooed. The main struggle we have is that her hair does not retain styles and it tangles very easily. If I do cornrows, after 2 days, it looks a bit messy. This is one of the reasons why I do not cornrow or flat twist her hair. She is also very tender headed, so any pulling or tugging is out of the question. I wash her hair while it is in twists to keep it from getting too tangled during the wash process.  In the summer season, her hair loves Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie. However, in the winter, we switch to Shea Butter mixed with some essential oils because her hair hates SMCES during that season.

It is important to cater to each child's hair care and needs individually. If you find that something does not work for a child, make note of it, try it at a different time or season. It might work then.

What challenges do you have with your kids' hair?

Friday, December 14, 2012

Hand in Hair Syndrome

What is Hand in Hair (HIH) Syndrome?
Hand in Hair Syndrome is a condition where a person is constantly playing in their hair, by pulling, twirling, twisting it. This condition can cause hair loss, known as, Trichotillomania. This behavior can be a form of stress release for people and for others especially transitioners, they do this due to the fascination of the newness of their natural hair.

Big Sis has this issue on the back left side of her hair. When I asked her why she does it, she told me that it helps her feel relaxed. I can tell if she has had a hectic day at school if she starts to twirl her hair when telling me about how her day was.

What can you do to stop this behavior?
  • Know the reason why you do it
If you know the reason why you do what you do, this can help you out. For Big Sis, she does it when she feels overwhelmed.

  • Modify your hairstyle, wear protective styles
When hair is left out, there is tendency to play in it. Try changing your hairstyle to a protective style. Hide it away! Out of sight is out of mind, right?

  • Look for other ways to occupy your fingers
 Like any other compulsive behaviors, if you find other ways to reduce the stimuli that causes the behavior it can help you stop such behaviors.

  • Therapeutic help
If you have tried everything and still continue the behavior and it is starting to affect your life style, you should see a theraphist that can provide techniques to stop the HIH syndrome.

Additional Help
Here is a link to 50 ways to stop the behavior:
Good Luck to you all!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

2012 Favorite Products Giveaway (CLOSED)

for all your support in 2012....
Watch the video below for the details on entering this Giveaway

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Teaching our kids to CARE for their HAIR

Two months ago, I blogged about the importance of teaching our kids to love their hair. Since then, I have gradually been doing teaching Big Sis and Lil Sis how to care for their hair. I believe that parents and care-givers should teach children how to care for their hair instead of always doing it for them. I did not start caring for my hair until I went to boarding school, where there was no mommy or nanny to help take care of my hair. I was left on my own. Luckily, the sisterhood of the boarding house helped me learn little day-to-day care of my hair.
How do you start ...
It is actually simpler than you think. When you wash your child's hair, tell them what you are doing. You can even give them a section of hair, and show them how to scrub their scalp with the base of the fingers (not fingertips).

In the morning, when you get their hair ready for the day, show them how you moisturize the hair. Even teach them the LOC method. Allow them to gently spritz their hair with water and moisturize their hair. You can even show them how to use the soft hair brush to catch those pesky edge-and-nape hair.

If your girls love to play with dolls, let them do the steps on their dolls. This will allow them to practice without messing up their hair.

Overall, let them have fun with their hair, under your supervision, OF COURSE. LOL!

Big Sis did a Mohawk with her soapy hair!

Lil Sis doing her own ponytail at age 4.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Twist Out Results from "Getting the Best Twists"

After having my twists in for two days, here is the resulting twist out.

Day 1
The twist out lasted all day for the Nzuri Natural Hair Festival.  It did not puff out like in the past when I only used Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie. This time that I applied the products in layers - first Shea Moisture CES, then EcoStyler gel, then seal ends with Whipped Shea butter, my hair had softness, moisture, and shine! The ends of my hair that felt a bit rough and bushy-tailed were smooth, thanks to the Whipped Shea Butter.

Day 2
On Day 1, I went to bed without my re-twisting my hair. I just covered it with my satin bonnet. In the morning, I used a method I learnt from NaturalMe4C on Twist Out Maintenance. She actually shows how she maintained her TO for a couple of days.

 Here is how my hair looked like when I woke up.

Here is the results after I fluffed and rearranged the twists... not too shabby, huh? A little less defined but still manageable, I got lots of compliments at church. LOL!

How do you maintain your twist out? Do you ALWAYS re-twist at night?

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Big Sis's Letter to Me (*get out the tissues*)

The day after I did my BC, Big Sis wrote a letter. I wanted to share it with you.


Nzuri Natural Hair Festival 2012

I attended the 4th Annual Nzuri Natural Hair Festival in Houston, Texas yesterday. It was so much fun!

Watch the video below to  see my product haul and cool hair tips I got while attending the Curls seminar.

Did you attend the festival? Share your experience.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Getting the Best Twists

Every style is a learning step. As you learn how to master your styles, remember to keep note of what worked and what did not work. Here is how I do my twists and some tips that have helped me create juicy twists.

Wash Process
  • Hot oil treatment using Vatika Hair Oil, Jamaican Black Castor Oil and Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
  • Co-wash using Trader Joe's Conditioner Balanced Moisturizing Nourish Spa.
  • Deep conditioning treatment overnight using Nubian Heritage Indian Hemp & Tamanu Grow & Strengthen Treatment Masque

Styling Process
  • Applied my swag oil mix on my scalp and did a scalp massage
  • Used Giovanni Direct Leave-in conditioner as my leave in
  • Let my hair air dry up to 80% dry
Twisting Steps
  • Part my hair to create a side bang and use clips to hold down each section.
  • Twist Tip 1:
    • Make sure to twist your hair in the direction that you want your hair to fall

  • Taking a small section of hair, apply Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie
  • Apply a little EcoStyler Gel (Argan) and make sure to apply to the ends
  • Apply a tiny bit of Shea Butter to the ends.
  • Twist Tip 2:
    • By applying a moisturizing before a gel, it reduces the crunchiness that gels give to the hair
  • Start twisting. When you get to the ends, you can comb the ends to smoothen it and then twirl the hair around your finger to lock in the curl
  • Twist Tip 3
    • Do not borrow hair from another section. If you run out of hair while twisting, just twirl the remaining section with your finger (like a finger coil)
  • Twist Tip 4
    • If you see any whitish residue, gently spritz that twist with a little water and massage the product into the twist to help it penetrate into the hair shaft.
Do you have any Twist Tips that help you get the best twists ever?