Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Healthy Hair on Youtube: AfricanExport

I've been following this type 4 lady from the start, and let me tell you, her hair has flourished recently!  It has grown tremendously and looks healthy from root to tip.

In this video, she talks about her protective styling regimen (via cornrows under wigs) and shows her hair in rare form:

And in this video, she discusses her long-lasting moisture routine:

Healthy Recipes || Sweet Potato Smoothie

As some of you probably already know, I am a big smoothie drinker.  Well, in a recent effort to be more creative with sweet potatoes, I created a super simple smoothie recipe:

1 cup banana
1 cup sweet potato (cooked)
2 cups almond milk (or more for desired consistency)
4 ice cubes
1 scoop protein powder (optional)

Just blend the ingredients together and you're done!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Hair Diary || From Loose Twists to My Usual Twists + New Detangling Method

Doing a new set of twists.
I wore the loose twists for almost two weeks then undid them, washed, conditioned, and detangled.  After that, I air dried in rollers again and put in another set of loose twists.  I wasn't quite feeling them this go around, so after a couple days, I transitioned to my usual twists.  I'm in week #2 and plan to keep them in for a total of three weeks.

Now for my new detangling method.  As an effort to get to hip-length (HL) sometime late next year, I knew that something(s) in my regimen had to improve ... one being that I be more patient in my detangling method.  As my hair got longer, detangling sessions obviously became more tedious and opened the door to a bit of impatience on my part.  I did not notice the effects until I started monitoring my front hair over a couple of years.  (Check this earlier post for more details.)  Once I became more patient with that section (and gave myself a fresh trim), it flourished!  And here I thought my bangs had reached their terminal length.

For the remainder of this year, I want to try that theory on the rest of my hair.  I'm not going to lie ... for a while, I thought WSL was it ... was my terminal length, but I want to exhaust this option before making that conclusion.  So what is my new detangling method?  Well, I'm currently experimenting with a few different ones before I finalize on one.  Here is option #1 at the moment:

Finger separate on dry, lubricated hair + Finger detangle on damp, conditioner-soaked hair.
In all honesty, doing a full finger detangling on dry hair prior to washing just doesn't work for me and does my hair more harm than good.  However, finger detangling on damp, conditioner-soaked hair has been working really well so far.  The catch?  My hair cannot be too tangled beforehand.  That being said, I've haven't tried this on hair that has been twisted for the long-term, so the story could be different in that case.  Right now, my experiment is to thoroughly finger separate each twist after pre-pooing overnight with coconut oil, put my hair into 8 big braids, wash, then whip out the conditioner and do the full finger detangle.

I will keep you all posted and should have a final updated regimen before the end of the year.  Now for more hair pics:

From loose twists to my usual "traditional" twists.
Done.  Will wear for three weeks.

Study || Grapeseed Oil and Removal of Sun-Induced Hyperpigmentation?

When the summer hits, my face begins to tan more quickly than the rest of my body (because it is more exposed).  I usually do not have a problem with this tanning variation except when it comes to matching foundation or wearing low-cut tops that reveal a less tanned complexion from the neck down.   I've learned to deal with it since it is only temporary, and during some summers, the tan does balance out over time.

Nevertheless, I stumbled upon this interesting study (while researching grapeseed oil) that demonstrated lightening effects on UV-induced hyperpigmentation (i.e., a tan) after topical application of linoleic acid.  Since grapeseed oil contains a large amount of linoleic acid, it makes you wonder if it would have that effect?  Maybe you can do your own personal experiment or research.


Sunday, July 14, 2013

How to Keep Your Hair Moisturized in Dry Heat

Unlike moist heat, dry heat can leave our hair super parched.  In the following video, Ambrosia discusses how she keeps her moisturized in dry Arizona:

Monday, July 8, 2013

Protective Style Lookbook || Elegant Formal Twisted Updo

By popular demand, this is a series showcasing various protective hair styles.  Protective styling does not have to be boring. :o)

Model: Nik

Difficulty level: 2/5

Description: Flat-twisted bang into three bunned twists.

Mixology || Lola Zabeth's Mud Wash Recipe

Are you interested in making your own mud wash?

3 tbs bentonite clay powder
1 tbs organic powdered honey
1 tbs organic slippery elm powder
3 ozs aloe vera juice

1. Mix the bentonite clay, powdered honey and slippery elm powder in a bowl.
2. Funnel the mixture into a bottle. Pour the aloe vera juice into the bottle. Shake well. The consistency is perfect–loose enough the spread easily without being drippy and messy.

For the full tutorial and/or more details, check out Lola's blog.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Hair Diary || Back to Protective Styling and A New Way of Air-drying

Bun on stretched wash-n-go or reverted twist-out. (I can't remember).

So after a few months of wash-n-gos, braid-outs, and twist-outs, I miss protective styling.  While those few months were enjoyable for the most part, the constant manipulation was 1) a daily high maintenance task for a low maintenance gal like me and 2) did not allow for me to retain growth ... which is no surprise.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, my focus was to play more with my hair at its current length even if it met not retaining length.

Well now that phase is over and I am back to my trusty length retention regimen - twists.  However, there will be a few adjustments since getting to waistlength is one thing but getting to hip-length is a whole other hurdle.  I will talk more about those adjustments in a future post.

As for my new way of air-drying?  Well, it is roller sets.  I like them because they are quick and easy to do, dry fully overnight, require less manipulation, and get my hair more stretched than twists or braids.  So that is one of the changes I am making to my regimen -- air-drying my hair via rollers instead of twists/braids.

And now for more hair photos:

Dried wash-n-go into a puff.
Stretched wash-n-go (via braids that I did not allow to dry all the way).
First blow out in years.  Wasn't impressed with the result (especially the shrunken ends and the minimal overall stretch).  Hence, I will stick to other options for stretching my hair.
Jumbo twists on semi-flat ironed hair (300 deg F).   I was attempting to try a modified version of the Mahoganycurls' twist out tutorial but the weather (i.e., humidity and rain) wouldn't allow for it.
Air drying in rollers to stretch my hair.
The result.
Close-up of the result.  I like.
Experimenting with loose twists for the first time (on a failed flat iron job).  Though a few youtubers have done this style before, I was inspired by MsTanish because her hair characteristics are closest to mine.
Loose twists in a bun.

Natural Remedy for Menstrual Cramps - Blackstrap Molasses

Do you get really bad menstrual cramps?  Are you tired of relying on medication for the pain?  In the following video, Fran shares a natural remedy for menstrual cramps using blackstrap molasses: