Monday, May 30, 2011

Twist Series: The Kitchen Area (Reader's Request)

These are some ways I prevent my nape area from locking while in twists.  Hopefully, they are helpful to you as well:

Rule #1: Re-twist the nape area (and the hairline) weekly.
I rarely go past a week without re-twisting that section.  If I do, I'm headed into loc-ville.

Rule #2: Make big twists in the nape area.
My twists in the back are usually bigger than my twists on the rest of my head.  I make about 3-4 big twists in the nape area.  Any smaller, and ... yes, you've guessed it ... I'm headed into loc-ville.

Rule #3: (Alternative to #2) Make one big horizontal flat twist in the nape area.
This method was developed by a natural haircare buddy named Mooks (some of you may have heard of her).  She and other women use this method to grow and protect the fragile kitchen area.

Rule #4: Patience while untwisting and detangling.
Since the kitchen area is prone to breakage and tangling, exhibit extreme patience while untwisting and detangling this section.  Be sure to lubricate the twists with an oil and/or butter during this process.

Monday, May 23, 2011

SHORT REVIEW #9: Egg Blackhead Remover

Purpose: To remove blackheads (and whiteheads).

Ingredients: egg white

Number of trials: 2

How I used it:
• Wash face as usual
• Apply egg white to face liberally
• Place toilet paper pieces on face to make a mask (avoid eyebrows)
• When dry, remove toilet paper, and wash face as usual


This at-home facial did not remove my blackheads instantly; I saw a few skin particles but did not see any blackheads in the tissue as described in the tutorial below.  The day following the facial, however, I did experience slight blackhead reduction in a few areas.  On a scale of 1 to 5, I give this facial a 2.  It's a bit messy and uncomfortable, but it's worth a try.


3in6: Box Braids Trial

{Box braids (with twisted ends)}
See "3in6 Challenge" details here.

Last weekend, I did box braids for the first time since going natural.  My primary reason for doing so was to simply switch things up from my usual twists.  Another reason for doing box braids was to see if I could wear it for 4-5 weeks with considerably less aging and shrinkage than twists.  This natural lady (pookinapp) was my main inspiration for experimenting with box braids.  What has held me off for so long were 1) the fear of my braids locking and 2) the tedious takedown process.  Given that I did my set larger than most people, hopefully the takedown and detangling won't be so bad?  We shall see weeks from now.

How are my challengers doing as we soon stride into Month #4?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

MORE on Natural Nail Polishes + Future Review

I ordered nail polish, nail polish remover, and a 2-in-1 base coat from Karma Organics.  The package is on the way, and a review will be posted in June.

Why I chose Karma Organics?
A good combination of price and color choice.  They had more colors from which to choose than the other places I checked.  Next on the list would be Zoya.

Meanwhile, ...
The top three supposedly unhealthy chemicals contained in certain nail polishes are toluene, formaldehyde, and dibutyl pthalate (DBP).  (For more details on these ingredients, check the links below.)  Some companies, however, appear to making efforts to eliminate one or more of these chemicals.  After looking at the back of a few polishes I own, I learned the following:
  • Revlon is Toluene, DBP and Formaldehyde free - that's good news
  • OPI is Toluene, DBP, and now Formaldehyde free
  • NYX is DBP free, but contains Formaldehyde and Toluene - argh


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Remnants of PJ-ism: Glycerin

This will be a short series on my attempt to finish a few remaining products from my 'product junkie' (PJ) days.

product junkie /ˈprädəkt ˈjəNGkē/ Noun
A person with an obsessive habit of purchasing and collecting products, particularly hair products.  

Today's remaining products: Vegetable Glycerin.

I prefer to use honey over glycerin as a humectant.  This bottle from Whole Foods has been in my cabinet for 2 years, more or less, with little usage.  

Finishing strategy: For the past few weeks, in an effort to use it up, I've been mixing it with oils and conditioners for a detangling mix.  I think I'll also use it to mix a new body butter (which I finished weeks ago).

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Natural Nail Polishes ... ?

I've never been a big nail polish wearer, but things have changed.  Recently, I've begun painting my nails on the weekends as part of my "pamper myself" time. Despite an investment in a base coat, top coat, and acetone-free nail polish remover, my nails have suffered from the self-manicures. While I don't want to give up my new weekend beauty regimen, I also want my healthy nails back. With that I've decided to look into natural nail polishes. They lack the harmful chemicals that most regular nail polishes contain which damage our nails. Sounds to good to be true?  Well I'll find out soon.  Let me know if you all would like a product review in the near future ...

Here are some polishes I'm currently researching:


3in6: Using My "Out" Pass

See "3in6 Challenge" details here.

So after almost 3 months in twists, I (and my edges) needed a break.  Last weekend I wore a chunky twistout!  

Prior to the style, I washed and hennaed (with a cassia melt for strengthening, not color) for the first time in months.  Then I followed up with a light wash, deep conditioner, and detangling.  After that, it was time to do chunky twists.

As for the healthy intake, it's been going okay.  I've been using a lot of onions and tomatoes in my meals in addition to spinach and the usual.  Daily multivitamin - check.  Water - check.

We're officially halfway there, ladies!!

How do you plan to finish these next 3 months?  Are there any lessons you have learned up to this point?