My observations using Jamacian Black Castor Oil (JBCO)

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I’m not one of those people who just accept that something works because it’s the new trend, or must have product boasting miraculous claims. I don’t jump on the bandwagon and absolutely love this new item because everyone else loves it. No…I’m a skeptic…a glass half empty type of person. I don’t accept someone else’s words that something works. I have to have personal experience. It must be proven to me.

I’ve always been this way. I’ve always needed the whys and hows of any process. This really annoyed my teachers when I was in school. As they say, some things never change. So when it comes to hair and skincare products that promise to be miracle workers that will fix all of the issues that the other products couldn’t even begin to fix, yes, my radar goes off and I get a bit skeptical.

So imagine my mindset when I read about this little, inconspicuous oil here:

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Many bloggers and vloggers rave about JBCO. I’ve read many of their blogs and seen many of their vlogs that taut its praises. I’ve been using this oil for well over a year now in my hot oil treatments, as well as adding it to my deep conditioners sometimes, and often in my spray bottle. I’ve even participated in a few challenges where I was supposed to use castor oil on my hair so many times a week for so many months, usually three. However, I was never consistent enough with any of this to notice any changes. The big deal about this oil is that it is supposed to make hair grow. To say that I was a bit skeptical is putting it mildly. I have always believed that our bodily functions and processes will happen in their own time and on their own accord; I wonder why should I pad someone’s pocketbook when their product will do nothing out of the ordinary to correct problems A, B, C, or D.

Well, I must say this…the proof is in the pudding (that’s cliche, I know!) But it’s true. For the past month, I’ve been using JBCO on my eyebrows and eyelashes. I’m in awe of how much thicker they are. My brows and lashes have always been fairly thin. I’d started to use liner to darken my brows a bit. I’ve always used mascara on my lashes. I can see a remarkable difference. I can see hair sprouting and filling in areas of my eyebrows where hair has long since stopped sprouting. My brows are much darker and my lashes are longer.

I’ve added some photos, and hopefully you can see the difference. I wish I would’ve taken actual before photos. But, you can see the normal shape of my brows, as well as where the new hair is growing. I am not wearing any eye makeup in these photos. Please overlook my oily face, I was in the process of cleaning it.
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My noticings today

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I’m noticing that the hair growing from my roots are a different texture than the length of my hair was. It is really, really soft and much straighter. It seems the staple products that I was using does not work quite the same for my new growth.  It’s good that I’d recently purchased new products to try out. Hopefully some, or at least one, of them will workout. I am definitely back at the drawing board! Everyday, I get more and more excited about learning this new head of hair.

My experience with Bentonite Clay

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I started this post before I did my most recent big chop. I’ve been lazy and didn’t feel like waiting for the pics to download. I finally got around to doing it tonight, so that’s why this post is late. Last Friday when I washed my hair, I decided to use bentonite clay instead of my new love – my shampoo bar. I’ve been researching and reading about the benefits of bentonite clay for hair and thought I’d give it a try. I made a trip to Whole Foods about two weeks ago and picked some up while I was there. (I won’t get into everything else that I acquired on this trip!) *side eye*

Benefits of bentonite clay for hair:

  • Good for cleaning, clarifying, moisturizing, and conditioning hair
  • Has been reported to facilitate hair growth and prevent hair loss
  • Works well on all hair types – natural, relaxed, damaged, dry, etc.
  • Relieves itchy scalp and treats dandruff
  • Improves the texture and thickness of natural hair
  • Contains calcium, potassium, and sodium which are all needed for healthy hair

The directions for using the clay are pretty simple. Basically you add ACV and/or water to the powder until it’s the consistency of paste. However, I added some oils to my mix to give it a bit more umph, as my hair is in need of extra nourishment. My mixture consisted of:

  • 3 tablespoons of clay powder
  • ACV
  • coconut milk
  • aloe vera gel
  • grapeseed oil.

I can’t say exactly how much I used. I just added until I had the consistency that I wanted.

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Once the mixture was smooth, I applied it to my hair from root to tip, using a downward motion. I’d pre-pooed my hair the night before. Before applying the clay, I wet it but I didn’t rinse the oil out. From my research, I found that some oil in the hair makes it easier to apply the clay. This seemed to be true because the application went seamlessly and was not messy as I expected.

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I left the clay on my hair for about an hour or so. I really don’t recall how long because I got caught up in the TV. If it wasn’t for my face tightening up so much as the clay dried, I probably would’ve left it on longer. But from what I understand, it doesn’t need to stay on too long to do it’s job.

After rinsing, which was not difficult at all to do, my hair felt very clean, but not stripped. My curls were defined, my hair had a nice sheen, and was soft to the touch.

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I had some leftover, so I applied it to my face since it’s great for skin as well.

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This is what was left after hair application

Bentonite clay applied to my face

Bentonite clay applied to my face

I was actually smiling in this pic!

After the clay dried…I was actually smiling in this pic!

There was still a bit left so, I even gave my son a clay facial (although he wasn’t happy about it at all)! I just couldn’t let it go to waste…
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Overall, I was pleased with the results of using bentonite clay. I will keep using this as a regular part of my regimen. Being that it continues to agree with my hair, I’m thinking I will use it to clarify my hair, rather than the clarifying shampoo.

My hair today…

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Weeeelllll!!!! IT IS DONE!

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MY THIRD BIG CHOP!!!

Wow!!! This was the hardest one if all! I didn’t have a problem cutting all of my hair off the first two times I did it. I think mainly because I was relaxed, I didn’t do much work to get the length that I had, and I was comfortable. Comfortable…I think that’s a keyword…

However this time, I had worked HARD for the length and every bit of progress I’d made. I had put my blood, sweat, and tears into my hair for over a year!

Making that first cut took me awhile to do! But now that it’s done…BIG SIGH!!! I feel so relieved! No more stressing over my damaged hair…I’m starting from scratch!

I’m a bit anxious because although I’ve BCed before, I put a texturizer in it afterwards so I could technically treat it like relaxed hair. Then I had kinky twists installed until it grew out. This time it’s ALL NATURAL!!!

I can’t stop touching and looking at it. It looks so different from what I’d gotten used to over the past months. I’ve gotta learn my hair all over again. OK…I think I’m going into a state of shock as I continue to type. Wow!

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Well, I guess all I can say now is… MY NEW JOURNEY BEGINS!!! YIKES! :)

My decision about my hair…

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I’ve been thinking long and hard about how to proceed with my hair. I won’t go into the whole issue with my hair because if you follow my blog, you already know the story. But, I have to keep cutting more and more of my hair each day because of the unhealthy ends. It’s gotten to the point that I’m having a hard time hiding the short hair at my crown. That’s another thing…I’m tired of trying to hide it! That’s too much work.

So that being said, I’ve decided to big chop AGAIN…I was stressing out over the idea of BCing again at first. I’m trying to grow my hair and starting over again would be prolonging the amount of time that would take. However, I’ve realized, this will give me a chance to really get to know my hair better and grow it healthy from the start, now that I know how to care for my hair. I didn’t know how to do that when I BCed before.

This is my hair currently

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Stretched hair

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Stretched hair

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Stretched hair

The next post I make about my hair, it will be all gone!

My award nomination: The Lovely Blog Award

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I’m flattered that my blog has been nominated once again for an award. Thanks to Islandkynks, I’ve been nominated for the Lovely Blog Award. <3 I hope you enjoy getting to know a bit more about the girl behind the blog. :)

REQUIREMENTS: 
- Thank and link person(s) who nominated you.
- List rules and display the award.
- Share 7 facts about yourself.
- Nominate 15 Bloggers & comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated.

FACTS:
1. I am a mom to three wonderful boys, each born in three different decades!

2. I am a 3rd grade teacher.

3. I love to read, write, and research – which is why this blog is a big outlet for me. I was that girl in school that got paid to write everyone’s research papers! LOL

4. If I was to choose another career, I would be a forensic scientist, a screenwriter, or a copy editor. I am also that girl that looks for errors in other people’s writing! Well, I won’t say look for…I just tend to find them… :-/

5. I watch crime investigation shows ALL DAY long! My TV rarely is on anything else.

6. I am a fitness junkie! I love to workout…including weightlifting.

7. I’m a simple girl, and I’m not the adventurous type, but I LOVE fast cars and bikes. On the other hand, I am terrified of roller coasters!

My nominees are:

Ethnicurls

Xohaircrush

Forever Me, Naturally

My Ethereal Seas

Divinely Rooted

BlackZulu

OohMyHair

LoveaMarie

I can’t wait to learn more about you, Ladies!!! :)

My product review – Alikay Naturals Shea Yogurt Hair Moisturizer

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So, if you read my reviews about Bee Mine’s Bee Mine Curly Butter (click here for Part 1 and here for Part 2) , you know that I’m re-evaluating my stance on patronizing the small business owners that cater to African American women. If you haven’t been a follower of my blog, you can read about this here and here. That being said, I’ve purchased another butter based moisturizer to use when water based ones are not suitable, as in when my hair is in a twist out or stretched state. This one is Alikay Naturals Shea Yogurt Hair Moisturizer. I saw a review of this on another blog that I was reading and I was intrigued by the name, which caused me to look further into this company’s products.

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Alikay Naturals – Shea Yogurt Hair Moisturizer – 8 oz – $16.00 – alikaynaturals.com

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Product Description

DRY HAIR?? Want Great Braid outs and Twist outs? Shea-Yogurt is here! This great moisturizing blend will leave your hair shiny, soft and defined. Moisture is a MAJOR factor in healthy beautiful hair, especially in ethnic hair. Use as a moisture therapy and for daily styling. You should moisturize your hair daily. A little yogurt goes a long way. Raw shea butter hydrates your hair from root to tip, to replenish moisture. Also keeps scalp healthy without clogging pores. Get Moisturized!

Ingredients

Raw Shea Butter, Sweet Almond Oil, Wheat Germ Oil, Rice Bran Oil, Essential Oils, Rosemary , Herbal and Botanical Blend No Petroleum, No Mineral Oil , No Alcohol, No Paraben, No Sulfate, No Silicones

How to use

Can be used on wet or dry hair. On wet hair wash, detangle, apply leave in conditioner, part hair in sections, and apply a SMALL AMOUNT to each section as you go. Rake it into hair – may feel oily, but will absorb in hair as hair dries. Apply extra to ends to help seal moisture, then braid, twist, cornrow hair or style as usual. Use paper towel to gently pat off excess, the rest will absorb.

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This butter is 100% all natural and 100% organic, which is a plus since I’ve been trying to add more of these to my regimen. Like the Bee Mine line, these products are only available at select stores or online. The line is carried by Target but not all of them. It is available in 2 oz travel size for $6, 8 oz for $16, 16 oz for $27, or a huge gallon for $205. I decided to get the 8 oz and ordered online since it was more convenient. The Target location that I found closest to me is about 30 miles away. It took quite a bit of time for this product to arrive after I ordered it – almost two weeks! It took almost a week for the order to even process, which was frustrating being that the product isn’t made to order.

When the package finally arrived, I opened it and found that the contents of the butter had separated – partially oil and butter. But once it sat for awhile they came together to form a whipped, yellowish-orange butter. The color is one I’ve never seen before in a hair product, it’s kind of a strange color, but I like it. The texture is light and kind of froth-like, nothing like yogurt. It seemed to melt in my hands as I rubbed them together. It smells delish, like it could be edible. It has a citrusy fragrance and it lingers in the hair! I love it, but it may be a problem for anyone with a sensitive nose.

I’ve been using this moisturizer for a week and I can definitely see why users have fallen in love with it!!! When using it on damp hair, it made my hair unbelievably soft and shiny. It stayed that way all day! This hair butter moisturized AND sealed my ends and my hair held it’s moisture longer. As indicated by the directions, a little goes a long way. If you are heavy handed, it will leave your hair a bit greasy. But once I figured out the amount that I needed for my hair, I didn’t have a problem. This product does not provide any hold, so it won’t work as a styler. I can’t wait to see how it works on dry hair.

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I’ve always thought that spending such a hefty amount of money on a hair product was crazy! I never thought that I’d do it. So far, this has been one of the best $16 I’ve ever spent. I will be adding this butter to my arsenal of go-to products.

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 this 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 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.

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