Monthly Archives: February 2014

Sebastian Evokativ Full Volume Building Conditioner

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This blog post contains affiliate links (e.g., to Amazon, eBay, etc.), which means that if you click on one of the product links and place an order, I’ll receive a small commission. This helps support my blog and allows me to continue to create content like this.
Thank you for your support!

Sebastian’s Evokativ Full Volume-building Conditioner claims to bring natural fullness and body to fine hair. This conditioner contains natural-based silica to create surface volume, and panthenol to moisturize and protect the hair. This color-safe formula restores hair’s natural pH balance and is delicate enough for everyday use.

On first use, I immediately noticed the energizing fragrance of jasmine and ylang ylang. Whenever I use this conditioner, I probably spend half of my time in the shower with the conditioner bottle to my nose. It smells THAT good! 

The conditioner is MEGA thick, so, a little goes a long way. I love how it coats all of my coily strands. It is so moisturizing, I almost never want to rinse it out. I noticed more of the volume-building effects on my relaxed/transitioning hair. My natural hair? Not so much! Probably because I don’t have the same limp hair problems that I did when my hair was relaxed. LOL!

Although this conditioner retails for $26.00, I found it at my local Marshalls for only $9.00! Needless to say, I purchased two! I’ve used this conditioner for about six or seven months now, and I love it! 
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PRAVANA Sulfate-free Hydrating Shampoo

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This blog post contains affiliate links (e.g., to Amazon, eBay, etc.), which means that if you click on one of the product links and place an order, I’ll receive a small commission. This helps support my blog and allows me to continue to create content like this.
Thank you for your support!

Ingredients:
Water, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Cocamidopropylamine Oxide, Stearate Glycol, Simmendsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Extract, Equisetum Arvense Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Algae Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Extract, Hair Keratin Amino Acids, Wheat Amino Acids, Silk Amino Acids, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein

Directions:
Apply a small amount, and distribute through wet hair. Rinse. Repeat if necessary. Follow with Hydrating Conditioner.

Product Claims:
Cleanses, moisturizes, and repairs dry, troubled hair. Designed to instantly transform coarse, dry, or frizzy hair to a smoother, softer texture. PRAVANA’s exclusive Naturceutical Complex™ moisturizes and repairs dry, troubled hair.

I have used PRAVANA’s Sulfate-free Hydrating Shampoo for the last 13 to 14 months. I first started using it when I was transitioning. I waited quite a while to write this review because this is the first sulfate-free shampoo I ever used, and I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I knew from the get-go that there would be less lather but, other than that, I had no clue how well (or even if) this product would work on my hair.

My first impressions? Not so good! This Hydrating Shampoo has a very thin, almost watery consistency. I instantly wanted to hit my forehead in disgust as the product poured into my hand like a waterfall. Not a great surprise when you’re in the shower, holding a shampoo bottle in one hand while your other hand is cupped in anticipation of a thick ooze.

Despite the thin consistency, the shampoo has a very pleasant, fresh scent. It is super gentle on relaxed/transitioning hair as well as natural hair. This cleanses my scalp and nourishes my curly/coily hair in one rinse. Even when my hair is loaded with product and I have to do a second wash, my hair never feels dry or stripped. Ninety-nine percent of the time, though, a second wash is completely unnecessary.

The only downside is the price. This salon professional shampoo retails for a whopping $34.00! Thankfully, I purchased two bottles online for only $18.00 each. That’s almost half off! So, if you can get it on clearance, PRAVANA’s Sulfate-free Hydrating Shampoo is definitely worth a try. Just wish it was a little thicker …

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Quick Tip #5: Get Rid of Blackheads Fast!

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This blog post contains affiliate links (e.g., to Amazon, eBay, etc.), which means that if you click on one of the product links and place an order, I’ll receive a small commission. This helps support my blog and allows me to continue to create content like this.
Thank you for your support!

Quick Tip

Have acne or blackheads? Run out of your fave skin mask or pore strip? Don’t fret. Just use Elmer’s glue! Yes, you heard me correctly. I said Elmer’s glue. Just use any non-toxic glue on your face to get rid of blackheads or to help speed up the process of pimples. Simply apply the glue to your nose (or wherever needed) and gently peel off when dry (about 10-15 minutes). Presto chango … You will have clearer skin in no time flat. Forget the arts and crafts and bring on the glue! Ok, I still like a good DIY, but it’s nice to know that my beloved Elmer’s can do more than découpage. 😉

Not brave enough to give it a try? Use Elmer’s glue around your nail bed, let it dry, and then paint your nails as crazy as you want! Don’t have any Elmer’s lying around? Here are some other alternatives …

TOOTHPASTE

Creative Commons License by flickr
Photo Shared by William Warby

  1. Apply an inch-sized amount of toothpaste (not the gel kind) on a toothbrush. An old toothbrush or travel-sized one would be perfect! If you have blackheads on your nose, apply an even smaller amount of toothpaste, and keep away from your eyes.                       
  2. Wet the toothbrush and wet the affected area. Again, make sure you do not apply too close to the eyes, as the vapors from menthol toothpastes can irritate them.
  3. Gently scrub the affected area with your toothbrush.
  4. Repeat daily until the affected areas are clear. Always sterilize the toothbrush with boiling hot water after each use. 

GELATIN & MILK

  1. Take one tablespoon of milk and one tablespoon of flavorless gelatinMix them together in a cup.
  2. Heat the mixture in the microwave for 10 seconds.
  3. Apply the mixture (i.e., with a makeup brush) to the affected area in the shape of a pore strip.
  4. Let it dry on the affected area(s). This should take about 10 minutes.
  5. Remove the strip. When you pull the strip off, it will remove the blackheads!

 

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Length Check – 12 Months of Growth

Here is a video update I did of my current length …

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Flat-ironing My Medium-length Hair: 12 Months of Natural Hair Growth

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This blog post contains affiliate links (e.g., to Amazon, eBay, etc.), which means that if you click on one of the product links and place an order, I’ll receive a small commission. This helps support my blog and allows me to continue to create content like this.
Thank you for your support!

I have been natural for 12 months now. Woot! Woot! In honor of my one-year naturalversary (February 6), I decided to flat iron my hair. The last time I straightened my hair was September 2013 (five months ago). I had been natural for seven months and was curious what my natural hair would look like straightened. This time, I did a few things differently. Here’s what I did …

STRAIGHTENING STEPS

  1. I sectioned my hair into quadrants, lightly misted my hair with water, and detangled.
  2. I applied a 50:50 ratio of coconut oil and castor oil to each section and then two-strand twisted each quadrant into one chunky twist (for a total of 4 twists).
  3. I shampooed my hair with a sulfate-free shampoo (Pravana Hydrating Shampoo). I used very warm water and then rinsed all of my hair with cold water.
  4. I used a light protein treatment (Aphogee 2-Minute Protein Treatment). I added a processing cap, left it in for 5 minutes, and rinsed it out with cool water.
  5. I wrapped my hair in a microfiber turban and let it air dry for 30 minutes.
  6. I untwisted each section and applied Softsheen Carson’s Optimum Advanced Keratin Sealing Leave-in Conditioner to each quadrant. After that I sprayed Julep’s Top Coat for hair (a heat protectant and shine spray) to each section.
  7. I blow-dried each quadrant with my Chi Rocket hair dryer.
  8. I applied TRESemme’s Heat Tamer Spray (a heat protectant) and another dose of Julep’s Top Coat to each section.
  9. I clipped three of the quadrants out of the way, parted each quadrant into smaller sections for the sake of manageability, and then flat ironed my hair using my Babyliss Nano Titanium 1¼” flat iron. I set my flat iron to 410 degrees.
  10. It took me about 2 1/2 hours (from start to finish).

MAINTENANCE

  1. I originally planned to wrap my hair before bed. But, less than 24 hours later, I already started to miss my coils. LOL! So, I decided to pin curl my hair instead with Dove’s Leave-in Smoothing Cream and a little bit of my Roots of Nature Butter Whip Coil Cream (for a light hold). 
  2. I added my satin bonnet and slept on a satin pillowcase for extra insurance.
  3. In the morning, I lightly coated my hair with coconut oil, and unpinned and separated my pin curls. I misted my hair with my DIY multi-use spritz and then layered on some Julep Top Coat for extra shine.
  4. I coated any stray, frizzy pieces with a dab of coconut oil, twirled the wayward strand around my index finger, and then gently released it.

THE RESULTS

In these pics, my hair measures about 9.50″ long.

Flat-ironed natural hair at 12 months

Flat-ironed Natural Hair at 12 Months

Pin Curls

Pin Curls

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My 1-Year Naturalversary: 12 Months of Natural Hair in Review

1-Year Natural

Today (February 6) is my one-year naturalversary. Hurray! I can’t believe I made it! The last 12 months went by so quickly. I made some mistakes, experienced a few setbacks, but I also had some amazing triumphs as well. Here’s a review of how my first year as a natural went down …

MY UNPLANNED “BIG CHOP”

It all started on Friday, January 11, 2013. After a traumatizing experience with a dry shampoo, I had my mom cut my hair. I originally had intended to transition for at least 12 months but, sometimes, life happens and change becomes inevitable. My mom cut off eight inches of my 12″ hair. Three-and-a-half weeks later, I cut off the remaining relaxed ends. I was left with only only 2.5″ – 3.0″ of hair after transitioning for six months. So much for long-term transitioning. LOL!

MONTH #1

Even though my hair grew a full inch in only a month’s time, my hair had never been this short before. And, truth be told, I really did not know what to do with it. To make matters worse, some of my family members DID NOT like my new short do and did not mind letting me know! My confidence plummeted, so I bought a wig. After a while, though, I got tired of (and too hot while) wearing it (think 90 degrees in April), so I decided that it was time to embrace all of me, including my new short hair. I wrote a letter to my TWA to boost my confidence and to let other new naturals know they were not alone, but I still struggled with wearing my natural hair outside of my home.

MONTHS #2, #3, and #4

While researching how to style my super short hair, I came across colouredBeautiful’s YouTube video on how she defined her curls on her own short mane. Her hair looked fabulous! I finally started to believe that maybe mine could, too! Her video gave me the jumpstart I needed to style my own short locks and the self-esteem to actually wear it “out” in public. The first few times I wore my finger coiled hair in public, I felt like everyone was staring at me and snickering amongst themselves about my hair. Maybe it was my imagination, or perhaps they genuinely thought I looked foolish. Who knows! Nevertheless, slowly but surely, I decided to ignore the noise (real or imagined) and found my confidence again.

However, I still had a long way to go to figuring out how to maintain my natural hair. My hair only grew 0.75″ over three months (0.25″ a month). I learned very quickly that even though my hair was short, I wasn’t moisturizing it enough. My dry, thirsty tresses were dehydrated but still managed to grow despite my hair care ignorance. I did more research about how to take care of my natural hair and decided that I had better create and implement a hair care regimen.

MONTHS #5, #6, and #7

I found an answer to prayer! I discovered the baggy method and the Green House Effect as viable techniques to moisturize my dry hair. My hair grew 1.75″ over three months! I finally seemed to have reversed my parched strands.

MONTH #8 (Setback #1: Breakage from Stress) 

October 2013 Mini Top Knot

October 2013
Mini Top Knot

I experienced my first genuine setback when my mom’s health momentarily declined, and I inadvertently started to neglect my hair. I lost a month’s worth of length (a 1/2″) as a result.

MONTHS #9 & #10 

I quickly bounded back and my hair grew … and grew. Everything was sunshine and rainbows … until it wasn’t!

MONTH #11 (Setback #2: The Single Strand Knot)

January 2014 Faux Hawk

January 2014
Faux Hawk

After wearing wash ‘n gos non-stop for almost three months, it finally happened … my second setback! My ends were covered with SSKs! Although I attempted to use a needle to untie each knot, the diameter of each of my strands is just too fine, and the task proved virtually impossible. So, I ended up lopping off a 1/2″ of my length to prevent split ends and further damage to my hair. Sigh.

MONTH #12

February 2014 Old Twist-out

February 2014
Old Twist-out

I finally had an epiphany and went back to the basics of moisturizing and sealing my hair every night. Sometimes even twice a day. Whenever I don’t moisturize my hair enough, my hair rebels, and I pay for it in the end by having to sacrifice length.

HAIR REPORT CARD

My hair grew a total of 7.5″ over 12 months, but I only retained 6.50″. Extremely dry hair contributed to three months of slow growth (only a ¼” a month for three months). I lost a ½” of my length due to breakage from stress and another ½” after enduring an extreme case of SSKs. On the whole, even though I experienced lots of ups and downs, I learned a great deal about my hair. All of my setbacks were (ahem) self-inflicted and predominately a result of my failure to properly moisturize my hair. My ending length? 9.50″. Here’s to wiser hair care in 2014 …

Do you have a naturalversary coming up? If so, congrats!

2624-seasonal

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