Winter Switch-up Part 2

Hey guys so as promised, here is part 2 of my winter hair repertoire. This time I will be focused on products and applications. However, I forgot to mention in my previous post one more protective technique. Sleeping in a satin bonnet. Now, usually I don’t bother wrapping my hair because I like my ‘fro to be free and I already sleep on satin pillows and sheets. However, In winter I’m not just protecting my head from sheets but also from the dry, hot air in my apartment so I cover up. Before I do this, I usually put my into hair as many or as few twists (not very neatly) as I feel like. This helps them fit under the cap more easily and stretches them somewhat so they can be more easily pulled into protective styles the next day. I moisturize them before doing so in a method I’ll explain shortly. So now for products.

I read on naturallycurly.com that not varying your shampoo can diminish or even reverse its positive effects. Is this without-a-doubt true? I don’t know for sure. I do not always agree with even the most reputable sites, however, I decided to be safe and bought a second shampoo/conditioner set to alternate in every other week. I chose L’oreal Ever Sleek mainly for the price and because I didn’t realise it was for straightened hair. Oh well! I don’t think that really matters. It’s cheaper than most natural products since it’s one of the drugstore brands getting in on the natural game and it was 7.99 a Duane Reade as opposed to Shea Moisture’s 10.99 ( I later realised that it’s only 8.5 oz in a bottle so per oz. the price is about the same.)

What did I think? Let’s start with the sulphate-free shampoo. It made my hair squeaky clean. It actually squeaked. It was clear and not rich and creamy like the SM shampoo at all. It felt…fine. I was neither here nor there with it. To be fair, I also realised the products were really for smoothing straight hair. It’s important, curls, to go off of research when buying products and not just price.  Still, even when you’re 3c/4a curly, you don’t want frizz so smoothing is a nice effect. The conditioner is the most important part to a curly in my opinion. It was extremely thick and creamy. It felt more like a curl-defining cream than a conditioner and did not give me the slippage I wanted. It took a lot of conditioner and work to detangle and ithe smell was nothing special, just like unscented body lotion. Afterwards I will say that my hair felt very smooth. However, that could also be attributed in part to the yoghurt deep conditioner.

That’s the other thing I am doing for winter: focusing on different conditioners. Normally I alternate between my Greek yoghurt conditioner and my caramel treatment. Now I may use the caramel Tx (treatment) occasionally still but am concerned that it contains honey, a humectant. Humectants are great for the summer because they draw moisture from the air to your curls. However in the winter they can have the opposite effect. Greek yoghurt is great for your scalp but rich in protein, which, in the winter, can make hair brittle. I use plain regular yoghurt mixed with olive, tea tree and peppermint oil. The two latter oils are great for a winter-dry scalp.
I just eyeball the proportions and I use plain yoghurt since sugary flavours can encourage fungus that can lead to dandruff. Yoghurt is good for fighting scalp fungus, the lactic acid is very good for your skin. Yoghurt also moisturizes the hair and the skin on your scalp and balances the pH of your hair, creating a shiny seal to the cuticle.

plain-yogurt

After washing, I recommend rubbing oils such as tea tree, peppermint or jojoba on the scalp, but a clean scalp only. Oil and dirt can cause buildup that makes a dry scalp worse. Ensure the oils you use are paraben-free because those ingredients also dry the scalp.

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Lastly, remember to use the LOC method on your hair: Liquid, Oil, Cream.
Spray your hair with whatever moisturizing sprigs you use, water, conditioner spray or whatever your personal mix. Not too much, as I said in my last post we don’t want to leave the house with wet hair. Next, add an oil of your choice for a light conditioning seal. I like coconut oil. Last, add a heavier cream or butter to seal, paying special attention to the ends of your hair, which may rub up against the rough, winter fabric of your clothes. Some bloggers recommend coating your ends in conditioner and sealing with a non-alcoholic gel. I can’t vouch for it personally. My LOC is an EVOO-condish-water mix followed by coconut oil followed by Shea moisture curl-enhancing smoothie.

Next post, I will take you through my routine for Trinidad. That’s right: no place like home for the holidays. Xox.
Daria & Angela

I’m HOOOOMMEEE!

Hello Hello Hello!

from sunny (well, more rainy these days) Trinidad. I got in Tuesday the 10th and I’ve been doing some hardcore relaxing so not much to report. A few things:

I think my Mum is scared of Angela. We went out to run a few errands and I had Angela out at her fullest.  This is the convo that followed

Mum: Daria you ent comb your hair?

Me: Yes Mummy I combed it. This is how it looks

Mum: But you walk out the house with it just so?

Me: Well since we’re driving I was going to pull it back (My fro has been known to obstruct a driver’s view, mine included)

Mum: well you mustn’t leave the house with it looking unkempt.

Me: sigh…okay Mummy (pulls back hair. I did not come on vacay to argue with Mum) It’s just an afro like the wig you used to wear in the 70’s

Mum: (indignant) no mine used to be neat. We kept it short.

What I don’t think she gets is that styles, even as they recur, evolve so the afro of yesteryear, while still cute, might seem a bit dated. Also, while natural hair is fairly common in Trinidad, it is generally worn in protective styling. Trini style tends to veer away from things that are too bold. We are really jeans and t-shirt people.

Later my Mum spotted a lady and laughed saying her hair looked like mine “That’s not an Afro that is an A-FRAID!” I had to laugh. Oh Mother.

Anyway I at least wore it in a puff for her. Surprisingly my father who once LITERALLY did not notice an elephant in the room* observed the change right away (no positive or negative opinion, he just observed it) I have been rocking a top-knot mostly and have been wearing Shea Moisture conditioner and gel in my hair. I did try out this one look to take a new visa photo. In visa pics, your hair cannot obstruct your face, which Angela tends to do…

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I achieved it by leaving conditioner (silicone free!) in my hair to loosen the curl pattern. I used gel to hold it and then side parted my hair, rolling the wider side inward and securing the front of my hair into a half pony. Simple! Note: I stress using silicone-free conditioner because leaving conditioner with “cones” in your hair too long can stop moisture from getting in and eventually drive out your hair.

Other fun observation: Maybe it’s because this has been a particularly humid summer in DC, maybe it’s because my hair is not as dry as it used to be or maybe it’s because my hair is now natural: maybe it’s a combination- but when I had a perm I would feel the texture of my hair change the second I touched down in T&T but this time when I came home I noticed no great shift. It was interesting!

I will let you guys know more about my adventures in style as my holiday continues.

With love

Daria & Angela

* My mother collects elephant stuatues and one day we were shopping and fell in love with this majestic white piece. It was probably 2 feet tall and had a flat load on it’s back so we could add a glass table top and make it a centrepiece in the living room. I don’t remember the price but my Mum wasn’t sure how my Dad would feel about the purchase. She asked me how long I thought it would be before my father noticed this white elephant sitting in our living room. I guessed about 2 weeks. Well, fourteen days later my father comes home in the evening and quite confused goes to my mother “BUT HOW LONG WE HAD DAT ELEPHANT IN DE LIVING ROOM?!” and that is my father, bless his heart.

Rock n Roll- Tuck N Roll

Here’s a style I have seen a lot of people rocking from celebs like Solange to Rosie the Riveter so I have decided to try it out for myself.

1- Comb your hair so it is knot-free
2- Using a parting comb, section off a portion of your hair at the front. This should be on one side of your head.
3-Roll the hair section under (into your forehead) using your index finger. Hold it there with your finger.
4- Pin the hair section in place on either side.
5- Place the remaining hair in a side bun for a fun but polished finish.
6- Place a barrette/bandeau/scarf to the side of your new “poof” to accentuate the look. Et Voila! Easy Peasy Japanesey!

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If you want to go full on retro, pair it with a cute vintage outfit and/or some retro sunglasses, which are big this season. Like these. (glasses from Forever 21)

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As this 80 degree DC day shows, summer is near! My favourite time! But before we slip into those bikinis I have to ask every naturalista’s favourite question: What hair products should I use? The only difference is….now I’m not talking about the hair on my head…

before i get sued: I am not saying Selita Ebanks uses this product…but she could!

Here’s a product with a naughty name and nice results. It’s called Coochy after-shave protection mist. It is an after-shave spray that I use on my bikini area, underarms-anywhere I shave-to prevent bumps and irritation and let me tell you, this product is the truth! Here’s a sad fact: curly-haired people are more prone to razor bumps and irritation.This is because instead of growing out, the hair curls back into the skin causing it to become inflamed much like it does when we have a splinter. For straight hair, however, it is easier to penetrate the skin’s surface as it grows. Think of a nail versus a screw: which one can push through a piece of wood more smoothly?

I have been using Coochy spray after shaving and waxing for about two years now to prevent and soothe inflammation and irritation. From the first use I noticed my bumps becoming fewer, smaller and further between. Now, after two years I use the spray less and less. I no longer have to use it after every shave. And who doesn’t love smoother skin? I once had a doctor compliment me on my wax. (Sorry am I oversharing? lol!) Coochy also has a shaving cream, which, I am told can also be used as a conditioner. The cream in my opinion is better than The Art of Shaving’s fancy creams but not as good as my trusty Aveeno. Coochy’s makers also now have a men’s cream (I haven’t tried) called Evolution, which I am pretty sure is just the same cream with a different scent and name because no guy wants to put some floral thing called “Coochy” on his face. Now you can recommend it to boyfriend, hubby, brother or dad. Otherwise could  you imagine? “Hey Dad try this Coochy on your face.” *awwwwwkwarddd*

Disclaimer: before you click the link to buy this product, I warn you, the website is not for the faint of heart. However there are a number of legitimate beauty products on this site as well. (Stripper dust anyone? lol.)

Ok curlies, now that you know the secret: click, like, buy and please keep the dirty jokes to a minimum. My family sometimes reads this.

xoxo. Daria and Angela.

Mini (well kinda…)twists: Part 1

Angela is getting a little unruly. She’s too long for a fro. She gets in my face and is really floppy so when my hair is out I look like the guy from LMFAO. BUT I don’t want to cut her. I want to see how long she can grow and I want to try different things. I did some research on the great scientific resource that is YouTube and looked at some styles. I thought about a blowout but DC in Spring is a very damp place. I didn’t want to do all that straightening for nothing. I turned to one of my favourite vloggers, naptural85 and revisited her mini twist videos.

I had tried to little avail to twist my hair in the past: They unravelled. They were too thick and puffed up. They didn’t fall the way I wanted… Sigh. But I checked out a few videos and got a pretty good idea of how to do it.

First thing I needed was to blow out my curls just a little. Just to stretch them. This would stop them from puffing up so much in the twists. This was pretty simple. I had washed my hair Monday night and worn my hair in my go-to protective style that Tuesday (bun with a flat-twist across the front) so my hair wasn’t completely dried and was somewhat stretched already. It’s best I detangle your hair with a wide toothed comb before blow drying. Then, for the first time ever I used the comb attachment on my blowdryer. I started on cool and high settings and went to warm and high settings- NEVER hot. I also started at the ends and went to the roots just like I would if I were combing. I discovered my hair had some good length with just a little bit of stretching.

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Hair all blown out

Then I parted my hair into four sections (front to back and side to side) and followed the video instructions, parting each section into tiny rows and being careful to make clean, tiny parts. The main product I used was my Shea Moisture curling soufflé.

I only did the front half of my head and it took just over 2 hours ( I could hear housemates watching SVU in the background.lol.) I tried to do my hair in a cool half-up/half-down look that looked great until I stepped outside. I had put vegetable glycerine in my hair before I decided to twist and it was misty outside so the combination of a humectant product and the moisture in the air had my nicely stretched hair proofing up in 2 seconds! I put it into a bun.

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Will have to blow it out again tonight.

I anticipate the second half will take longer because the back is harder to reach and I can’t see what I’m doing. Wish me luck!
To be continued…

Knowing the Basics

You think you know but you have no idea * serious face*. Okay but really do you know how to comb your hair? I couldn’t tell you how many times I have seen a woman going GODZILLA on her hair with a simple comb and brush! I could hear her poor little hairs snapping so I have to ask…do you know how to comb your hair? Properly?! Tell the truth.

I hated combing my hair. As a little girl, I remember my hair (and I have LOTS) being tugged and pulled every which way. I would almost cry and get told to “stop moving!” Like hello?! Maybe if you stopped pulling my hair so hard, my little head and body could stop following! Man I used to see a comb and run! *sobs on therapist’s couch*

Ok sorry. I’m done reliving my childhood trauma. So here are the comb and brush basics. Here’s the thing about brushing. Don’t do it. Unless you have straight hair I wouldn’t recommend it in the least. All it’s going to do is snag in your precious coils and snap them. The best advice I’ve read about curly hair is this: treat it like a fine piece of silk. There are just certain things silk is not meant to do ( you don’t wash silk with detergent! You don’t expose silk to excessive heat!) Same with curly hair.

Now when you comb your hair you need, most importantly, a wide toothed comb. If you don’t have one, try it and you will see the difference from finer toothed combs.

Remember hair is most pliant when it’s wet so the best time to comb is after conditioning. I wash my hair once a week (deep treat, shampoo, condition) and detangle in the shower. I let the conditioner sit a few minutes so it can penetrate and make detangling easier. Then I take the comb to it. If your hair is really tangled then gently finger comb starting from the ends and working the way up. After, do the same with the comb. Doing this slowly and gently is the best way to combat knots.

“But Daria,” you’re probably saying. “Am I only supposed to comb my hair once a week then?” of course not. Over-combing and manipulation can break your hair but not combing enough will quickly lead to knots and that leads to breakage. I never go more than a day without combing, personally. Figure out what works for you.

When you’re between conditionings and combatting SSK’s (single strand knots) and other nasty hair deviants, use a spray bottle of water and your favourite oils/ aloe vera juice/ veggie glycerin/ whatever moisturisers you favour. Spritz and dampen your hair, then comb in sections from ends to roots. Then seal and style as desired.

Wooh! Believe it or not, it’s easier done than said. So have at it.

Til next time, curls.
D

PS: My hair’s finally long enough to make a (messy) bun. Time for a length check? *eyes blow dryer * *cue Psycho theme music.

Knowing the Basics

You think you know but you have no idea * serious face*. Okay but really do you know how to comb your hair? I couldn’t tell you how many times I have seen a woman going GODZILLA on her hair with a simple comb and brush! I could hear her poor little hairs snapping so I have to ask…do you know how to comb your hair? Properly?! Tell the truth.

I hated combing my hair. As a little girl, I remember my hair (and I have LOTS) being tugged and pulled every which way. I would almost cry and get told to “stop moving!” Like hello?! Maybe if you stopped pulling my hair so hard, my little head and body could stop following! Man I used to see a comb and run! *sobs on therapist’s couch*

Ok sorry. I’m done reliving my childhood trauma. So here are the comb and brush basics. Here’s the thing about brushing. Don’t do it. Unless you have straight hair I wouldn’t recommend it in the least. All it’s going to do is snag in your precious coils and snap them. The best advice I’ve read about curly hair is this: treat it like a fine piece of silk. There are just certain things silk is not meant to do ( you don’t wash silk with detergent! You don’t expose silk to excessive heat!) Same with curly hair.

Now when you comb your hair you need, most importantly, a wide toothed comb. If you don’t have one, try it and you will see the difference from finer toothed combs.

Remember hair is most pliant when it’s wet so the best time to comb is after conditioning. I wash my hair once a week (deep treat, shampoo, condition) and detangle in the shower. I let the conditioner sit a few minutes so it can penetrate and make detangling easier. Then I take the comb to it. If your hair is really tangled then gently finger comb starting from the ends and working the way up. After, do the same with the comb. Doing this slowly and gently is the best way to combat knots.

“But Daria,” you’re probably saying. “Am I only supposed to comb my hair once a week then?” of course not. Over-combing and manipulation can break your hair but not combing enough will quickly lead to knots and that leads to breakage. I never go more than a day without combing, personally. Figure out what works for you.

When you’re between conditionings and combatting SSK’s (single strand knots) and other nasty hair deviants, use a spray bottle of water and your favourite oils/ aloe vera juice/ veggie glycerin/ whatever moisturisers you favour. Spritz and dampen your hair, then comb in sections from ends to roots. Then seal and style as desired.

Wooh! Believe it or not, it’s easier done than said. So have at it.

Til next time, curls.
D

PS: My hair’s finally long enough to make a (messy) bun. Time for a length check? *eyes blow dryer * *cue Psycho theme music.