Monday, July 30, 2012

Tangled up with Vatika Hair Oil

This past weekend, I decided to pre poo with Vatika Hair Oil instead of doing my normal and loved Amla and Brahmi treatment. Why?  Well, I have read a lot about this hair oil and how it makes your hair soft and shiny and also promotes growth. So, I decided to give it a try. I went to my local Indo-Pak store, paid $5.99 for it, and went home to start applying this to my hair.

I used Hairscapes' youtube video as my guide for application.

Unlike other people, I love the smell of this product. Also, the ingredients were really nice and even contained Amla and Brahmi. 
Henna - colorant, hair conditioner & restorative
Amla - hair nourishment, delays graying & hair fall
Harad - protects from UV rays, delays graying
Bahera - maintains hair color
Neem - anti-microbial, fights dandruff & hair fall
Brahmi - hair vitalizer
Kapur Kachari - antiseptic
Lemon Oil - astringent, fights dandruff
Coconut Oil - promotes hair growth & nourishment
Cow's Milk - natural nourishment for scalp & roots


 After leaving this product on my hair overnight, I did my normal co-wash with Tresemme and deep conditioning wth Shea Moisture Deep Treatment. My hair was VERY tangled up!! I was not happy about this. The only thing that was different about this wash day was the Vatika Hair oil. Maybe I used too much. In addition, my hair felt hard... not soft. I will give this hair oil another try next month and see if my hair tangles up again.

Do you use Vatika Hair Oil? How do you apply it?

African Threading Challenge: Final Style



As we end our African Threading Challenge, we want to thank our friends that joined us on this challenge. This challenge ran for 2 months.  We did 5 styles (including the one on top: Flat twists with threaded mowhawk)

Length Results

Starting length check:
Back: 7 inches
Front: 6 and a half inches
Crown: 6 and a half inches
Sides: 7 inches

Ending length check:
Back: 8 inches
Front: 8 inches
Crown: 7 inches
Sides: 8 inches
My analysis from this challenge is that, for us, threading hair does not promote any growth that would not have been achieved by doing other protective styles and proper maintenance of hair.  According to research, hair grows at the rate of 1/2 inch a month.  Since this was a 2 month challenge, we should expect a minimum of 1 inch growth.  As you can see in the ending length check, the back and sides grew normally adding 1 inch each to the starting length.  The front of her hair seems to have a faster growing rate, adding 1 and a half inch, whereas her crown, the slowest growing area, added only 1/2 inch. 

We had fun with the final style by converted it to a mohawk bun for the last day before washing and restyling.  To create the bun, I used a mesh hair bun.

We resume our normal protective styling with freestyling cornrows.  For more creative styles, visit our Hair Styles Gallery.






Friday, July 27, 2012

Funny Transitioning Story


My friend was running some errands some days ago, and as she waited in the checkout, a lady, who was a stylist, started this conversation with her:
    

Stylist Lady:  "I love your hair."

My Friend: "Thank you."

Stylist Lady: "How long have you been natural?"

My Friend (who has been transitioning for 9 months, and has done several mini-chops): "Since last November."

Stylist Lady: "Your hair grow a lot."

My Friend: "Hmm.... thanks"

Stylist Lady: "What products do you use to make your puff glisten like that?"

My Friend: "I just apply some 'baby oil' to it "

Stylist Lady: "Since when have you been wearing your hair like that?"

My Friend: "Hmm.. since today."

Stylist Lady: "How do you get your puff to stay so full and nice looking?"

And to that question.... My Friend answered....

"I just take it from my hair storage area... apply some baby oil... and pin it to my head."

After hearing this, the lady did not ask any more questions because all this while, she thought the puff was actually my friend's real hair.

If you are transitioning and your hair is not quite long enough for a puff, you can still rock a natural puff, sold at Beauty Shops.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

QOTD: Why do you use a T-Shirt to dry your hair?


I was recently asked this question on my Facebook page:

Is there a reason to use tshirt to dry hair vs towel?


Here is my answer:

Yes, there is a reason why I use T-shirt to dry my hair rather than using towels. First of all, when you use a towel, you have a tendency of pulling out hair. It is almost like scrubbing your coils, curls, or kink. Have you noticed when you towel dry, you see some hair locked into the fiber of the hair. Reasons to use T-shirt is that it does not pull your hair, it reduces frizz, creates less friction to your hair. If you still prefer towel, choose a microfiber towel.  

What do you use to dry your hair?...T-shirt or Towel?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Night Time Routine for Puffs


We are taking a one-week break from our month long African Threading Summer Challenge and doing puffs all week. Big Sis loves ...LOVES puffs, however, I never knew what to do with her hair at night.  After looking online and viewing a couple of YouTube videos, I came up with a routine that worked well for us.

Here is what I did to keep her hair moisturized all week long.
  • Section hair into 4 or more parts
  • To each section, spritz the hair with a mixture of water, glycerin, and castor oil
  • Apply Shea Moisture Curl Enhanced Smoothie to the hair, and also the ends
  • Apply Castor oil generously to seal the ends with moisture.
  • Two strand twist the hair and protect the ends by doing it into bantu knots.
What is your night time routine when you wear your hair in puffs?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Update: Great Balls of Hair...?

Thanks to my Facebook subscribers and my dear hubby, I decided to get my "kitchen" shaved.  If you are not familar with what I am talking about, read this post.

Transitioning Buddies


When transitioning from relaxed to natural hair, you need all the support you can get to make the process an easier one. It is difficult enough figuring out how to handle your two textures.  Sometimes, people that we think will be supportive of our decisions to go natural might let us down. We struggle with what to do to our hair. Many of us fail during the process and go back to the relaxer because we did not have the support we need.

This is why having a Transitioning Buddy early in the process can help make the process easier. As someone that plans to do a long term transitioning (2 or more years), I depend on my transitioning buddies to keep me in check. Yes, I do have more than one transitioning buddy.  Pictured above is one of them.

Now, you might be wondering, none of my friends are natural... no one in my family is supportive of my decision...how am I going to get a transitioning buddy.  Well, there are several online hair forums that have threads dedicated to Transitioning Buddies. CurlyNikki.com has a good support forum for  Transitioning to Natural and there is a thread in there for Transitioning Buddies. This was where I found my online transitioning buddy, Uninibile. Check out her hair blog.

So, go online and get yourself a buddy! You can finally have someone to discuss natural hair information, rants and raves.

Do you have a Transitioning Buddy?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday Fun: Strawberry and Kale Smoothie

Source: Taste of Adventure
I have heard about all the health benefits of Kale and decided to buy some and try it out. I wanted something to contrast to the bitter taste of the Kale. So, after researching online, I found this recipe.  Try it out today for an energy-boosting smoothie.


Bottoms up! Enjoy!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Night routine for Two Strand Twists


Here is my night routine for my hair when I have it styled in two strand twists.  This process keeps the twists stretched and keeps the relaxed ends from being disheveled.

 All you will need is a couple of bobby pins and your satin/silk scarf.

Starting with left part, I gather some of the twists together (includes twists at my bang area), and wrap it along the right side of my face.  I secure that section with a bobby pin.


Next, wrap the twists at the back of your head towards the right side of your head.  Secure that section with a bobby pin.


Now, gather the twists on the right side of your head and wrap it  towards the left side of your head.


 Make sure to secure it with the bobby pin at the right side and back of your head.


This is what the back and right side of your head would look like.


Here is the front view.


Lastly, tie on your scarf to help keep the twists from moving out of place.


What is your night routine for two strand twists? 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

HairChemistry: Will these products mix together?

I got inspired to write this post after watching the YouTube video below. This is a test to see if two products, usually a gel and a creamy moisturizer will result in the famous whitish balls of product residue on the hair. Before doing the Curly Girl Method, I use to use Cantu Shea Butter Leave In. This always left whitish residue on my hair.



Since then, I have been able to successfully mix different products with this leave in to create a non-white residue leaving Cantu Shea Butter Leave In.

View the video below to learn how to test for product compatibility:



Here is my test using products that I use on a regular basis. I tested with Big Sis's hair.

Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie and Eco Styler Gel (Argan oil)
Results: This produced a thick smooth, non tacky, mixture.  She did have a little whitish residue but it went away after a couple of mins.
Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie and ORS Twist and Lock Gel
Results: The mixture was much thicker.  It seems like the product mixture took a longer than getting absorbed into her hair.


Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie  and Taliah Waajid Curl Sealer

Result: The mixture of this product was the best so far. It was light, and smoother. When applying it to her hair, one thing I noticed was her hair felt very moisturized. The product also quickly got absorbed into her hair. The picture above didn't do much justice... however, trust me, there was no whitish residue. It absorbed almost immediately. I think we have a winner!!

Note of caution: I believe that due to the porosity and texture of a person's hair, this little trick might not give the same results as demonstrated above.


Try this and let me know what you think?


Monday, July 16, 2012

Great Balls of Hair...?



You know.. those little balls of hair at the nape of your head.  Yeah...put your fingers back there... Those balls of hair!  They can be quite annoying. At least to me, they are.

Here is a question I saw online:

What can I do about these balls of hair that are at the nape of my head?  Is gelling this area my best option?

Answer

There are different options you can try out. Yes, gelling that area is one of the options. Another thing that you can do is to apply some cream styler to that area. You can also just let it be. If you wear your hair down and that area is covered, you don't have to be bothered with it. If you have styles where you have your hair in an updo, then you might want to slick it down. A method I use when doing updo is to:
  • Spray the area lightly with water
  • Apply some castor oil and carefully loosen the balls. Doing this in a rough manner can cause the balls to tangle up and cause knots.
  • Apply a little EcoStyler Gel (Argan) over the hair
  • Use my fingers to softly brush over the area.
Do you have balls of hair at the nape of your head? What do you do about it?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Side Bantu Knots Out


All this week, I have been loving Bantu Knots out styles!  So, I decided to modify it a little bit for church.

Wash Process:
  • Pre Poo using Amla + Brahmi Hot Oil Treatment for 2 hrs.
  • Co-Wash  with Tresemme Naturals Condition (Aloe Vera + Avocado). After I co-washed I noticed some whitish brown residue in my hair. I was like...Argh! Come to find out that it was from my pre-poo. I skipped the step to strain the Amla and Brahmi mixture.  Never again!!
  • Deep Conditioner  with Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque.
My hair felt soft, untangled and ... clean.
Still doing the Curly Girl Method...see my curls..yeah!

Styling Process:

I applied some Generic Paul Mitchell Leave In Conditioner to my hair, and a mixture of castor oil, almond oil, and jojoba oil to my scalp and my ends. 

  • Sectioned into 4 sections
  • Created about 4 bantu knots on the front left quadrant using Taliah Waajid Curl Sealer.
  • Stating with the back left and half right quadrant, create a ponytail at the crown of the head.  Slick the sides of the ponytail with some EcoStyler Argan gel. 
  • Divide ponytail into two parts and create two bantu knots
  • Repeat the previous two steps with the remaining half right quadrant and half of the front right quadrant
  • Repeat again with the remaining half of the front right quadrant
Tie a scarf on the slicked area.

In the morning, I undid all the bantu knots but did not seperate them.

How did you style your hair for the day?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Friday Fun: Easy Scarf Organizer

Since I started transitioning, I have discovered that scarves can be used in many ways and also come in difference sizes and shapes. I have quite a collection of scarves and the one thing that I lack is the process of organizing my scarves for easy access.

Here is an easy way of creating a simple scarf organizer with items you probably have at home.


You will need

Hanger (preferably a sturdy one. This is actually a coat hanger. You can use wooden ones too)

 Shower curtain rings


This is the way I use to organize my scarves.  When I pull one scarf for use, the rest usually fall off and then I have to rearrange them again. Very annoying!!


Here is how to create your scarf organizer

Step 1:
Clip the shower curtain rings onto the hanger.


Step 2:
Loop your scarf into one of the rings and tie it into a loose knot.


That's it! Easy as 1-2-....okay no 3...LOL!

(This Friday Fun is dedicated to my transitioning buddy (Uninibile) on CurlyNikki forum)

Bantu Knots on Dry Hair

In the past, I have always done bantu knots with wet or damp hair. Here is one of my previous bantu knots with wet hair.




So, I decided to try it with dry hair using whipped shea butter to moisturize.


I love the softness and the shine I got from doing the bantu knots with dry hair. I also noticed that there was less frizz and less stiffness of the bantu knot out curls. I must say, when I was doing the knots, I was a little skeptical about how it would turn out. Now, I am quite pleased.

Here is the results...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

My new Facebook Page




Yeah... I am now on Facebook!

All you have to do is like my page on http://www.facebook.com/DiscoveringNatural

You can get more interactions and up to date information. Also, feel free to post your questions and I will surely answer back.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

No Shower Cap for me today!!


This morning, I decided to not use a shower cap to protect my hair while taking a bath.  Usually when getting ready in the morning, I will lightly mist my hair and then apply some oil and conditioner/cream.  By not using my shower cap, I let the mist from the shower do the job.

After getting out of the shower, I applied some castor oil and Wild Growth oil to my scalp and a little of the castor oil to my ends. I then applied Shea Moisture Curl Enhanced Smoothie all over my hair. Gave myself a good scalp massage...Ahhhh and that was it.

I think next time, I will section my hair into four parts so that the shower mist gets into more area of my hair instead of just the canopy.

Are you on Team NoShowerCap?

Monday, July 9, 2012

My #NaturalMoment on CurlyNikki

CurlyNikki posted my #NaturalMoment today.  LOL!




I decided to tweet about my scalp massage at the stop light while I was doing my Amla + Brahmi Treatment. As you all know, last Monday, I did this treatment for about 2 hours. While the treatment was "under-wraps".. underneath my plastic cap and black thick knitted cap, I went to the gym, and ran errands. Talk about multi-tasking!


By the way, feel free to follow me on Twitter @sawahtwit







Share your #NaturalMoments with me

African Threading Challenge: Style 4



------------------------------------------------------------

Style 2: Cornrows and Threading


Wash Process:
  • Pre-poo for 2 hours with Amla and Brahmi Treatment. I was impressed by how well this treatment detangled her hair.
  • Co-washed with Tresemme Natural Conditioner.
  • Deep conditioned for an hour with Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque.
  • Final rinse with Aloe Vera Juice to add extra moisturizing.
  • Dry with t-shirt
  • Apply Castor Oil to scalp.
  • Apply leave in - Kinky Curly Knot Today.  
Tools used:
  • Moisturizer - Whipped Shea Butter
  • Rat tail comb 
  • Thread
  • Scissors
Styling Process:
  • Create groups of thread with four thread strands in a group.  Use the scissors to cut the thread
  • Knot ends of threads and set apart.
  • I used one group of four threads per sectioned hair. I made about 6 groups of thread.
  • Divide hair into two parts, from ear to ear.
  • Cornrow front half of hair
  • Divide back half of hair into 6 sections.
  • Undo one section of hair, and moisturize hair and ends of hair with Whipped Shea Butter Mix.
  • Thread with spaces. 
  • After threading all 6 sections, pack hair in mo-hawk style.
I wanted to share my mom's hair style.. LOVE IT!!!!  It's a basket weave using extensions.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Friday Fun: Fun with the 'Fro!


July 4th was National Afro Day!  We were not able to do our 'from that day, but today, we decided to have Fun with the 'Fro and ROCK IT!

A little history....

National Afro Day was started in 2010, however, the idea was developed in 2009. To view some pictures of cute afros, visit this Facebook page, or just google, "National Afro Day"

Big Sis loves wearing her afro when she is not in a protective style...

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Curly Girl Method on Transitioning Hair - Month 1


My hair strands showing Zigzag curl type

It's been one month since I started the Curly Girl Method on my transitioning hair. Since then, I have learnt a lot about what my hair likes and what it does not like. My hair has been able to stay moisturized longer due to this method.  I bought the Curly Girl, The Handbook, and I have been reading it to better understand this method.

What I have learnt, so far ...

  • When using Generic Paul Mitchell Leave In Conditioner, do not use any gel with it
  • Using a mixture of Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave In Conditioner and EcoStyler Gel - Argan gives me less frizz
  • To refreshen my curls, I only need to lightly spritz and apply some leave in conditioner, no need to rewash
  •  I have a mixture of Fractal and Zigzag Curl Type

  • My hair strands showing fractal curl type

    As, I continue with this method, I hope to increase my moisture level and incorporate techniques I am reading about in the Handbook into my routine.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Monday, July 2, 2012

Product Review: Amla and Brahmi Treatment


What is Amla?
Amla powder is made from Indian gooseberry fruit.  It has the following benefits to hair:
  • Stimulates growth and prevents hair loss
  • Add shine and reduces grey hair by darken hair
  • Nourishes scalp
What is Brahmi?
Brahmi powder is derived by a plant from India called the Brahmi plant.  It has the following benefits to hair:
  • Nourishes hair
  • Helps with itchy and dandruff prone scalp
  • Reduces hair loss and breakage
  • Helps with premature greying

Preparing for my first Amla and Brahmi Treatment
During my research, I read that these powders can be quite drying to the hair. Due to this fact, I wanted to prep my hair to be at its utmost level of moisture using the LOC method.  I did the following:
  • Sectioned hair into 4 parts
  • Spritz each section with a mixture of water + glycerin + aloe vera + Zayd's Eucalyptus Conditioner
  • Applied a mixture of Castor Oil + Zayd's Sweet Almond Oil + Jojoba Oil
  • Applied Zayd's Eucalyptus Conditioner
  • Cover hair with plastic cap and thick knitted cap
  • Keep on overnight

Making Amla and Brahmi Treatment
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Coconut Oil in microwave for 30 secs
  • Add 2 tablespoons of Castor Oil
  • Mix in 2 tablespoons of Amla Powder and Brahmi Powder
  • Cover your application bottle with cheese cloth or a silk/satin scarf for seiving purpose
  • Slowly pour mixture until all that is left is any gloppy residue


Application of Treatment
  • Coat each section of hair with the mixture. 
  • Massage scalp gently for a few minutes
  • Cover hair with plastic cap and thick knitted cap
  • Leave on for 2 hours


My opinion...
Let me just say.... I love this treatment. In previous washes, whenever I wash my hair, I have a couple of strands of hair coming out.  I don't get too alarmed because my hair was still striving, however, I wanted to find something that will at least help reduce it.  I believe I have found a solution!

I rinsed off the treatment from my hair until the water ran clear.  After that, my hair felt strong and still no strands of hair coming out. I applied some Tresemme Natural Conditioner and co-washed my hair. Then, I did another co-wash with the Conditioner.  Just a little hair came out.  I am VERY PLEASED!

Here is how my naked hair looked like post wash.


My hair has a nice shine to it. My curls were still popping!, and the best thing is my hair felt strong!!!
I am doing a deep conditioning with Shea Moisture Deep Treatment for 2 hours and then I will style my hair in twists for the week.

If you have used Amla and Brahmi, what has been your experience?

Sunday, July 1, 2012

8 months...and counting



I'm so pleased with my hair growth so far.  The only struggle I have currently is keeping my hair moisturized at all time. Doing the Curly Girl method has helped a lot with that.  As I continue this transition journey, I hope to learn more about my hair porosity and also the Curly Girl method.  I just ordered the book, so I will be sharing my findings with you as soon as I get the book from Amazon.

Thanks for all the encouragement!!