My random thoughts…

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Random Thought #1 – Today was the first time in weeks that I manipulated my hair and there wasn’t damaged strands scattered all over the floor and sink. That made me feel good. I smiled about my hair for the first time in a long time. :-) I’m sure I haven’t gotten rid of all of the damage but it seems I might be on the right track.

I made a coconut oil, coconut butter, and shea butter sealant. I added JBCO, EVOO, jojoba, and vitamin E oils as well. After co-washing and detangling my hair tonight, I sealed with this and my Alikay Naturals Shea Yogurt Hair Moisturizer.

Random Thought #2 – I’m having the hardest time finding an all natural leave in that I don’t have to order online. I broke down and picked up a bottle of Kinky Curly Knot Today from Whole Foods. I’ve only used it once, so I’m not sure how I’m going to like it; it seems a little too lightweight. However, since discovering that I have fine strands, lightweight products may be what I need.

Does anyone have any other recommendations? I’m thinking of trying Karen’s Body Beautiful Sweet Ambrosia, but I wanted to see if there are any good ones that I don’t have to order online first.

My realization

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As I think back over the course of the past year of thos journey,  I have to face a hard truth. A truth that is now blatantly staring me in my face…I am ultimately to blame for the state my hair is currently in. Regardless of all the pampering and TLC, the blame lies with me.

Now that I’m making the transition to all natural products, I no longer have the benefit of the synthetic ingredients to mask the real state of my hair. I know now that for the past year – I’ve been hoodwinked, bamboozled, led astray! Deceived by silicones! Silicones gave me the false sense that my hair was healthy. Now without them, the real deal is out in the open.

I was good to my hair. I loved pampered it and loved on it almost to the point of obsession. But all of that was in vain due to the fact that I didn’t start this journey with my hair in it’s healthiest state. I was clueless then; had no idea about how to care for my hair in it’s natural state. If only I knew then what I know now. So now, I must deal with the consequences.

My fleeting thoughts

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For the first time in over a year, I had thoughts of relaxing my hair. :-/

I was standing in the mirror, frustrated with the results of a less than stellar twist out and the thought creeped into my mind. Frustration will do that to you; make you contemplate doing something that you will probably regret doing after it’s all said and done. It will bring to the forefront of your mind memories that should probably remain just that…memories.

As I stood there in the mirror, I had flashbacks of how easy it was to maintain my hair when it was relaxed. Yes, it was fried into the bone straight strands by chemicals, but it also thrived. What a contradiction! Nonetheless, it’s true. My hair grew! I didn’t have broken patches in my head that I had to work futilely to hide. It wasn’t persistently dry or ravaged by split ends. I didn’t have strands of hair covering the sink and floor every time I combed it, let alone touched it. It didn’t resist every attempt I made at keeping it healthy. I loved it and it seemed to love me in return.

Frustration…dammit…I’m so frustrated right now!!!

My hair is…

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…FINE! Not, fine as in good, OK, or alright. Fine as in its texture. I never would have guessed that. I knew it wasn’t thick or coarse. I just never knew what it was nor did I really care. I became curious about my hair’s texture after I kept reading other bloggers posts about their strands being fine, medium, or coarse/thick. So I started doing what I do best…researching!

Come to find out, it’s easy to determine your hair’s texture…just compare it to a strand of thread or ah hmmm, errr, ummm, the hairs from your nether region. *GASPS* As truth would have it, the hairs down under are thick and coarse in comparison to the hair on our heads. Don’t believe me? Compare and see! Hahahaha *side eyeing myself*

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Keeping in good taste - a strand of my hair and a strand of thread is shown

OK…so…my hair is much thinner than the thread and slightly thinner than the uhhhhh…you know! *blushing & covering my eyes*

How this works is as follows. In comparison to the width of the thread:
Thinner = fine
Same = medium
Thicker = thick/coarse

Of course, this is only a guideline. As any follower of my blog knows, I’m not into hair typing. But this does explain a lot about why my hair behaves as it does. I now understand why it won’t stand up or have volume like I want it to at times; why certain products work well on my hair, while others don’t. My hair always feels weighed down by heavier products, for example, which I usually tend to lean toward. If nothing more, I can use this information to help me recognize hairstyles that I can achieve with my hair, as well as assist in making better product selections and stop wasting my money!

My skin is turning on me!

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Zits and dark spots at my age is a no-no! It’s bad enough that I’m seeing fine lines and wrinkles. I’m far too old to start dealing with this foolery. So recovery mode is in full effect.

I’m not changing the direction of my blog, although this post is regarding my skin. It is indirectly related to my hair since it is the reason this is occurring. Well, my hair really isn’t, but more or less my attempts at growing my hair.

I have been taking Biotin supplements consistently for the past few months. As anyone who has taken Biotin before probably knows, they can cause hair growth in other areas, in addition to your head. Uhhh yea…so as if that’s not bad enough, I’m also a picker…I like to pick at things. So when these hairs spring up, I pick and pull at them until I finally pull it out. The end result sometimes is an ugly dark spot. I often wonder why I continue to do this when I know what’s going to happen. I have yet to make sense of it.

Needless to say, I’ve decided to tackle this issue using good old, ol’ school Ambi Fade Cream. I’ve used this years ago but I can’t recall how effective it was. It was on sale for less than $5 so I figured I would see how it works. I decided to use my blog to track my results since it seems to be the easiest.

Today is Day 1. (I can’t believe I’m posting these pics).

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Right side – cheek

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Right side – chin

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Left side – cheek

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Neck area

My suspect products

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I’m so glad that checking labels before putting products into my hair is becoming 2nd nature to me. I’m going to have to make sure that I always check BEFORE purchasing, even if it has been recommended by someone that I consider to be a reputable authority in the natural hair community.

So, I purchased these products…
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…after I saw a review of them by a well-known blogger. Now I’ve followed her enough to know that she is not against cones,  but I would have definitely thought some of the ingredients in these products would have unacceptable.

Here’s a rundown of the ingredients that I will not be putting in my hair,  especially now that I am trying to recover it from damage.

Here’s a list of the suspect ingredients included in these products that causes me sone concern:

Dark & Lovely Au Naturale Anti Shrinkage Knot Out Conditioner
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Isopropyl Alcohol – Irubbing alcohol) – solvent and can cause dryness
Stearamidoproply Dimethylamine – prevents product separation, adds slip & conditioning
Linalool – fragrance – may cause irritation
Chlorhexidine Dihydrochloride – solvent

Dark & Lovely Au Naturale Anti Shrinkage Hydrating Soak Shampoo
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Cocamide MEA – creates lather and may cause irritation
Sodium Chloride (table salt) – stabilizer, thickener, pH adjuster and is corrosive if left in hair
Benzyl Alcohol – preservative and can be drying & irritating

At this point in time, there is no way these products will touch my hair, especially since I’m already trying to recover it from damage. I understand that neither of the ingredients are listed as the top five, but I can’t chance doing more harm to my hair now.

Has anyone used these products? What are your thoughts?

My contribution to you: DIY Hair Masks

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Lately, I’ve been doing quite a bit of research and reading about natural and organic products for my delicate tresses. I’ve been really conscientious and deliberate about providing the TLC my hair needs in an effort to get it to it’s healthiest state. I am contemplating taking my hair care a step further by using only all natural products as much as possible.

Don’t get me wrong, I am definitely not one of those who shun products because they have “cones” and/or parabens or sulfates in the ingredients list. I’ve used many of them, and still do at the moment. My hair has thrived in doing so. However, I wonder if by removing the synthetic ingredients from my products, if my hair will flourish more. My research continues.

On that note…as I’ve done my research and reading, I came across this illustration for DIY Hair Masks. I’ve tried a few DIY recipes and I like mixing and creating my own washes, rinses, masks, gels, etc. It’s usually much cheaper on the pocketbook, we tend to have most of the ingredients already in our fridges and pantries, and we get much more product, which equals more bang for the buck! Some of these I’ve tried myself already. Maybe you will try them as well.

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Ingredients benefits for hair:

Eggs – because eggs contain lots of protein they help rebuild damaged hair by filling in weakened spots along the hair strand, which temporarily strengthens the hair, enhance hair growth and thickness, revitalizes dull hair.

Banana – contains potassium which strengthens and helps damaged hair; can increase the moisture content of your hair, smooth frizz, soothe your itchy scalp, and adds sheen; alleviates hair loss.

Avocado – adds shine and luster to hair as well as preventing hair loss, high in vitamin B which promotes hair growth, nourishes and improves the condition of your hair by acting as a moisturizer for dry or damaged hair high in vitamins E which repairs scalp damage, makes hair less dry and prone to breakage

Honey – it’s a humectant which means that it helps attract and retain moisture, an anti-irritant, fights frizz, helps prevent split ends, it’s also and emollient which makes gair soft and smooth, makes hair shiny and luxurious, it’s antibacterial and antioxidant properties are beneficial in keeping the scalp healthy and promoting hair growth.

Strawberries – add moisture and sheen, prevents alopecia and hair thinning, fights dandruff and prevents fungal growth.

Baking Soda – cleanses, restores and regulates hair’s pH

Apple Cider Vinegar – restores and maintains pH balance, removes build up, adds sheen, protects from hair loss, prevents and treats scalp conditions like dandruff and itchy scalp, stimulates hair follicle for growth.

Jojoba Oil – closest molecular structure to sebum, which is the natural oil produced by our scalp, easy to penetrate and absorb into the hair shaft, moisturizes the hair shaft

Lemon Juice – treats excessively oil scalp,
their alpha hydroxy acids exfoliate dead cells, which treats and prevents dandruff, prevents scalp infections, helps manage porosity, health, and shine, can provide highlights and/or lighten hair.

Yogurt – protein content in yogurt provides ample nourishment and strengthening to the hair without making it dull or dry; the zinc and lactic acid properties help stimulate blood circulation which aids growth; great natural conditioner for dry and damaged hair and helps gain and retain lost moisture; makes hair more manageable; treats damaged hair, alleviates hair loss, contains anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties that help stimulate hair growth by acting as a natural cleanser and helps get rid of dandruff; the anti-bacterial benefits of yogurt help soothe the scalp and reduce itchiness.

Mayonnaise – contains L-cysteine, an amino acid and powerful antioxidant found in eggs that can give your hair strength, shine and structure; restore moisture and vitality to your strands, creates a coating on hair strands and hence protects it from the sun, restores pH, protect your hair from all the harmful effects of styling products, helps replenish and repair damage, helps stop breakage.

** As with all DIY hair treatments, do your own research and exercise precaution when it comes to using them to maintain the health of your hair. Ingredients may work differently when mixed at home, rather than when used commercially where there are other chemicals added.

All treatments do not provide exactly the same results for everyone due to the fact that our hair is different and responds to treatments as such.

My fashionista award nomination

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Soooo…my blog has been nominated for the Fashionista Award by Isle of Azure author of IslandKynks, who I would like to thank for the nomination. :)

So without further ado,

1. What made you start blogging?
I’d cut my hair off for a new look and then wore kinky twists for about 9 months afterwards. After I took them out, I made the split second decision that I didn’t want to relax my hair anymore. I needed a way to keep track of what I was doing as I learned about my hair. So I decided to start a blog to do that. A blog made it easy to add pictures as well so I could also have a visual.

2. Favorite movies? All of the Oceans movies 11-13, All of the Jason Bourne movies: Identify, Supremacy, Ultimatum, Legacy, all X-Men movies

3. Dream career?
If I could do it all over again I’d be a forensic scientist.

4. Top wish list items at the moment?
The one thing on my wish list at the moment is to get my hair back to its healthy state.

5. Favorite TV shows?
Hell’s Kitchen, Master Chef, Big Brother, Chopped, Big Bang Theory, Snapped, any crime investigation show

6.  What store do you find yourself shopping in the most?
Walgreens, CVS, Beauty Supply Store, Wal-Mart, Target

7. Favorite fashion designers?
This is hard…I like to keep it classy but simple.  I wouldn’t say that I get caught up in fashion designers. I do a lot of my shopping at New York & Company. I am partial to Coach shoes.

8. Describe your dream vacation.
I would love to travel with my boys to Hawaii and Spain.

9.  What are the goals for your blog?
Another tough question being that I never expected anyone to actually read, let alone follow, my blog. It was intended for my use. However,  if my blog can serve as a source to help others with their journey then I think that would be great.

10. If you had the opportunity to interview a celebrity, who would it be?
If I could interview any celebrity I think that would have to be Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah, or Ellen Degeneres.

My nominees:
Dezzie, Darling
Mochalovegoddess
BlackZulu
NaturallyBlack
XOhaircrush
NaturallyBlack
YoungFabulous&Natural
Natural Sara
Happy Kinks Forever
Chic With Kinks

Thanks to Isle of Azure for the nomination!

My product review update – Bee Mine Bee Hold Curly Butter – Part 2

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Uhhhhh so, yeah…I’ve been using the Bee Mine Bee Hold Curly Butter for the past three days so I can provide an update.

First things first, I HATE THE SMELL OF IT!!! The scent smells artifical and nothing like coconut (it’s supposed to be coconut cream). It reminds me of medicine. In my first review, I mentioned that the smell was not appealing but it wasn’t overpowering. Well I’m now guessing that had to do with the fact that it was disguised by other products; because right now that’s the only product I have in my hair and it’s lingering and is very noticeable. I keep asking myself what is that awful smell then I remember it’s my hair.

I’m on 3rd day hair and I didn’t reapply product last night since I only pinned it back and didn’t retwist. I did on day one though because I retwisted. I still had some curl definition left this morning, although yesterday it did start to get a little puffy after I went out in the heat. This is definitely not a product with holding potential, at least not for my hair.

The reason I bought this butter was to be able to use it on my hair in its dry state. I was able to put it to the test today since my hair is stretched. I reapplied product this morning because my hair can’t go too many days without moisturizing. I’m disappointed to say that Bee Mine Bee Hold Curly Butter fell short of my expectations. My hair is frizzy and it left a greasy film on my hair. Previously I used other products on top of this butter and maybe that’s why I didn’t notice this before. My hair felt moisturized for a few minutes but after a while, not so much. It wasn’t really dry, but it wasn’t moist either. When I can hear rustling of my strands when I rub them together, I know my hair is lacking moisture.

A plus…this product works well on wet hair, which is how the directions recommend to use it. However, that’s not meeting the need of why I purchased it. I will use the rest of this but I probably won’t repurchase since I already have a product that works just as well.

(Meant to take pics but I forgot and LOCed my hair – using the Bee Mine Bee Hold Curly Butter for my cream).

** It looks like the company is selective in the product reviews that they post on their website. I wrote my review of this product and it was held for review. Evidently, they didn’t like my review because it has yet to be posted on the website. Maybe this is why there are only glowing reviews of this product. That’s shady to say the least. **

My hair today & product review – Bee Mine Bee Hold Curly Butter – Part 1

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If you’ve been following my blog, you know that I’ve been on the lookout for butter based moisturizers for those times that I’m rocking my twist outs, so I don’t have to moisturize with water or a water based moisturizer and disturb my curl definition. I searched and searched and finally I found a couple that I’m trying. One of them is from the Bee Mine line of products.  These products are manufactured by a small, woman owned, African American business.

Now those of you who have followed my blog for awhile, know that I’ve never found this to be of particular importance and I’ve always thought the products were drastically over-priced. However, I’m starting to change my line of thinking. It’s been said that you get what you pay for. From my research, I’ve found that many of these companies use all natural products and being that they cater to women that look like me, I should at least give them a try. The products from this line have received excellent reviews though I must say, as I perused the Bee Mine company’s website, I didn’t get a feeling of a friendly, customer oriented business. But this review isn’t about the company, but the product, so I won’t get into that.

The Bee Mine line of products are not sold in retail chains. Nor are they sold on Amazon. They can only be purchased from select beauty supply stores or online. The beauty supply store closest to me that sell them is about 25 miles away. And y’all know me enough to know that drive was not going to happen. So website purchase it was. Now if I like this product and decide to add it to my regimen, I will stop by and pick it up when I’m on that side of town.

Product Description

Our Bee Hold Curly Butter is shea butter and aloe based curly butter is packed with rich moisturizing nutrients to give you long lasting moisture and promote growth. It has a soft touchable hold that will help to defrizz your frizzes and give great definition. This Curly Butter is wonderful for twists, finger curls, puffs/pony tails and especially for laying down unruly hair. Great for naturals, relaxed, texlaxed, everyone.

Ingredients

Ingredients: 100% Organic Shea Butter, 100% Organic Aloe Vera Gel, Essential Oil Blend, Vegetable Glycerin, Rosemary Leaf and Chammomile Extract, Silk Powder, Paraben & Formaldehyde Free Preservative and Perfume (This is what is stated on the website). However, the actual container lists Phenoxylethanol and Caprylyl Glycol (Paraben & Formaldehyde Free Preservative)

This is what I found after researching these ingredients:

Phenoxylethanol - Preservative believed to be less irritating than others. Can also be used as a fragrance [Winter pg 399].

Phenoxyethanol is mild to the skin but can be hugely irritating to eyes—though it isn’t found to be irritating in the tiny amounts normally used in products. Surprisingly, it also has some conditioning and emollient properties.

Caprylyl Glycol - Used for conditioning and as an emollient that’s made from both plant and synthetic sources [Gottschalck pg 423]. Made from capric acid and glycol [Winter 7th ed, pg 133].

(This information was copied from the Ingredients Dictionary on Tightlycurly.com. Sources are sited at the end of this post.) 

I’m a inquisitive person by nature. So, I can’t help but to wonder why these ingredients weren’t listed on the website as well. For a person like me who is already skeptical to begin with it makes me start to question integrity. The website ingredients does state: Paraben & Formaldehyde Free Preservative. However, this could be misleading to some. Maybe, I’m reading too much into this, but that’s who I am…that’s what I do. It’s my blessing as well as my curse. :-/ LOL I guess I should get on with this review.

How to Use

Apply to wet or damp clean hair, detangle in sections, smoothing through thoroughly. Style hair with your fingers.

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Bee Mine Bee Curly Butter – 2 oz Trial Size – $4.50 at BeeMineProducts.com

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The Bee Mine Curly Butter is offered in the following sizes: 2 oz Trial Size – $4.50, 8 oz – $13.97, and 16 oz – 23.00. The scents that are available are Coconut Cream, Island Mango, and Unscented. I ordered the trial size so I could try it out and see how it works for my hair. I also ordered trial sizes of the BEE-U-Ti-FUL Moisturizing Deep Conditioner, and the Bee Mine Strawberry Kiwi Hair Growth Serum. I will post reviews of these as well. The website states that it takes several business day to process orders. However, my order was processed the same day that I ordered it and I received it within two days. It was mailed by USPS 2 Day Priority Mail. That was a PLUS.

First off, let me begin by saying I strongly dislike (I won’t say hate…it’s such a harsh word) the smell. I ordered the Coconut Cream, which smells nothing like coconut. It smells synthetic and more like a medicine. But, since it’s not an overbearingly strong, in your face scent, I can deal with it.

This butter is a thick, white cream, which is just what my hair needs if it performs well. The consistency reminds me of a face cream.

I used the butter on freshly washed hair. I sealed with grapeseed oil and then applied it along the length of my strands, making sure to focus on my ends. My hair seemed to love it because I had curls popping all over the place! Winning! Afterwards, I applied Olive Oil EcoStyler Gel and flat twisted. My twists were nice and juicy and the ends were sealed very well.

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Nicely defined curls

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Juicy twists with nicely sealed ends

So far, I’m happy with this butter on my wet hair. The real test will be in how well it seals in moisture on my hair when it’s in its dry state. I will be posting an update once I’m able to test it out.

Here’s my hair after unraveling the twists. It’s soft and shiny, but not greasy, and my curls are fantabulous! I have TWIST OUT LOVE right now!!!

TWIST OUT LOVE <3

TWIST OUT LOVE <3

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Winter, Ruth M.S. A Consumer’s Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients: Complete Information About the Harmful and Desirable Ingredients Found in Cosmetics and Cosmeceuticals
New York: Three Rivers Press, 2005.

Gottschalk, Tari E. and McEwen, Gerald N, Jr. PhD, eds. International Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary and Handbook, Tenth Edition 2004, Volumes 1-4.
Washington D. C.: The Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragance Association, 2004.

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