Monday, October 20, 2014

Product Review: Shea Moisture Yucca & Aloe Baobab Thickening Moisture Mist

I bought this product a few months ago, during a Shea Moisture buy one, get one free sale at CVS.  I had never used mists before, so I didn't know what I was going to do with it, but the fact that it is for fine, thin hair attracted me to the product.

Product Description
SheaMoisture's Yucca & Baobab Thickening Moisture Mist for fine, thin hair helps thicken strands and increase volume for thicker, full-bodied hair. - Made with natural and certified organic ingredients. - Baobab Oil contains Vitamins A, C, D, E and F to fortify and strengthen hair. - Yucca thickens hair while adding volume. - Biotin is a powerful B vitamin that strengthens the hair follicle.

Deionized Water, Adansonia Digitata (Baobab) Extract, Yucca Filamentosa Extract, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Oil*, Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, SD 40 Alcohol, Hydrolyzed Wheat protein, Biotin, Rosemary Extract, Bamboo Extract, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower (and) Lonicera Japonica (Japanese Honeysuckle) Flower Extract

Spray on damp or towel dried hair, concentrating on roots. Style as desired.

My Experience
I started using this after taking my crochet braids out.  I was experiencing some shedding and breakage.  I use it almost every day on dry hair for my LOC method in the evening.  The mist is the "L" (liquid) in the method before I twist my hair.  It has a distinctive scent, not too strong though, and has the texture and consistency of water.  It's not sticky or oily at all.  I spray 2-3 squirts on each section.

This has become one of my staple products. I love this stuff.  It helped cut down on the breakage (along with a good trim), and my hair stays moisturized and soft and shiny. It makes my hair look so full and big...and I love big hair!  My hair isn't thin, but my strands are fine, and I think this product helps plump up my strands some.  It also keeps my hair more manageable.  I don't really de-tangle at all anymore when I re-twist, not even with my fingers.  All of this has definitely helped me retain growth.  Please note that there is alcohol in this mist, but I haven't noticed any ill effects from it.  I'm actually almost out, and it usually takes me a while to finish a product.  I will definitely re-purchase.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Changing My Way of Thinking

I've been natural a little over two years, and just in the past couple of months have I really come to love my hair exactly as it is.  It's been hard for me not having the hair I imagined I would or should have.  It's also been hard not comparing my hair with all of the beautiful heads of natural hair I see.

I was flipping through the October issue of Hype Hair magazine, and there was an interview with Nicole Ari Parker.  When she was relaxed and more importantly, since she went natural, she's been one of my hair inspirations.  She said something in this interview that really connected with me:

I did the big chop and I did go through a personal phase where I had to adjust to not having long hair, and reevaluate my version of beautiful or sexy.  Our hair is so emotionally connected to us. We’re used to being bombarded with images about what’s beautiful.  I had to remind myself and reclaim my beauty and let my hair grow out of my head the way it wanted to.  It really gave me myself back, and guess what? 
The minute I stopped perming, the edges came back, the breakage stopped, my hair is thick and long, I can straighten in with a flat iron now, and if I want to have a longer style, I’ll add some extensions in the back.  
I also have a daughter and I wanted her to love her hair.  I wanted her to enjoy the thickness, the bigness, the lushness of her hair and I wanted her to enjoy the versatility.  Sometimes she wants to wear cornrows, sometimes she wants to let it air-dry.  And we wanted to raise a little girl who loves jumping in the pool! [Laughs] We were always taught to be afraid of water [getting our hair wet].  So it’s been a spiritual and a personal journey.

I also went through a long period of time where I had to re-define my idea of beautiful. I'll be honest- right before I went natural, I didn't care for a lot of the natural styles I saw out there.  I made a conscious choice not to follow as many relaxed hair blogs anymore and follow more natural blogs. I created a natural hair pinterest board. And, I worked hard to appreciate my hair and other women's hair how it naturally grew from our heads.

I don't have a daughter, but I have a step daughter, goddaughters, and girl cousins and friends who probably look up to me and look at me as one example of a beautiful black woman. I want to show all of them that you can have thick, kinky hair and be beautiful.  Even now, I still feel a certain way when I walk into an event with women who are all relaxed or have weave down their backs.  But then I remember how unique I look, and how much healthier my hair is.

I also love swimming!  Although my natural hair doesn't do exactly what I want it to do when it gets wet, I force myself to get my hair wet when I'm at the beach and enjoy my time in the water.  I just bring a scarf or something to cover it after I swim if I need to!

These past two years have taught me a lot.  Even on my bad hair days- or days I think are bad hair days - I carry myself like there's nothing wrong.  I put on some red lipstick, cute earrings and a smile, and keep it moving.  And you know what?  Those are the days I get the most compliments on how pretty I look!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Haircut & Wash N Go by Jaded Tresses

A few weeks ago, I signed up for a natural hair workshop through my local natural hair meetup group.  The event was this past Saturday, and I was sick with a head cold. I felt so tired and sick and didn't want to go, but as I was laying in bed, I looked up the presenters online, and I saw that one of the presenters was a natural hair stylist from New Jersey/Brooklyn and she was giving a wash n go workshop. I was skeptical about doing a wash n go on this head, but being that she was from out of state, I wanted to see what she had to say.  I've been thinking about going to NYC to get a professional cut and style, so I thought this would help me decide for sure.  Plus, I had already paid for the workshop!! So I got my sick butt up and went to the event at a restaurant about twenty minutes from my home.

The first half of the workshop was a mixing demo with Candace Kelley of Curl Prep.  She showed us how to make a shea butter (I need to get some REAL shea butter!) and a protein conditioner.  Then, the famous Tameeka aka Jaded Tresses aka the "Curl Whisperer" talked about how anyone can do a wash n go. I was still skeptical, but she took a woman from the audience with 4c hair and did it! She showed us exactly what she did and what products she used. She did the wash n go on very wet hair and used the Sweet Buttah she and Candace promote, and an EcoStyler mix (ecostyler, water, & oil). Then she ran the product through the hair. I still wasn't sure it would work on me, though.

Tameeka was also taking appointments the next day at a local salon, so I book an appointment to get a much needed trim.  She washed and conditioned my hair, and then cut my hair while it was wet.  The then re-wet it and shingled my hair for a wash and go.  I saw my hair curl and clump like never before!  Of course it shrunk a lot as it dried, but at least I had curls.  She told me that I don't have the chronic dry hair I thought I have.  She actually told me that I have a nice head of dense, thick hair.  I really enjoyed Tameeka doing my hair. This was my first time as a natural going to the salon (not including the times I got my hair straightened), and it was a great experience. I was treated with respect, Tameeka took me in a timely manner, she gave me a great scalp massage, and we had a fun and interesting conversation- about hair and other things!  She said she might come back to Boston in November, so I might see her again for some color.

That first night I just put a bonnet on and went to bed. In the morning, I rubbed some of the Sweet Buttah on my hands, fluffed, and went out the door. The next night, I put my hair in about 8 ponytails just to stretch it some, and I still had a cute, curly afro! Tameeka said that I'd probably want to do a twistout by day 4 or 5, but that's cool- at least I don't have to twist every night. My hair finally has shape, I don't have to spend 20-30 minutes a night on it, and it looks cute!

This was my hair on day 3:

And then on day 4 after twisting it the night before using just the Sweet Buttah:

I actually like the wash and go look, so the next time I wash it, I'm going to try and go 4-5 days with the wash n go.  I feel like my experience was just the blessing I needed. I was actually thinking about doing the big chop again and just starting over.  I was frustrated with twisting it every night, not having a shape, and thinking that my hair was dry and unhealthy.  Hallelujah!!