Archive for October, 2009

October 29, 2009

Creative Itch

Lately I’ve been feeling a bit…lackluster. Happens most around this time of the year.  The light in the day draws shorter, and I tend to hurry home after work to snuggle underneath the warmth of my sheets.  It’s also my time of the year to turn into a bit of a hermit, sort through my library collection, read all those books on my reading list, and organize my wardrobe and living space.  This is ALWAYS my Fall/Winter activity.  In many ways it keeps me sane and helps to avoid the sometimes inevitable winter blues.  This year is really no different…it’s time again to focus on the four walls and reinvent my living situation.  Last year I painted the walls a dark sea mist blue that I’m still really diggin, yet still left somewhat bare.  Haven’t hung too much up…no paintings or screens to accentuate the mood.  Never had the time, or came across anything too inspirational.  UNTIL….these past few weeks.  Take a peek at these adorable prints & decals from some very creative Etsy sellers.

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How can you choose a favorite? These lovely prints have been floating round the sphere for some time, AphroChic featured them just this past week on her site & I instantly thought it was time to snag a piece before all’s said and done.  All prints can be purchased here at Etsy seller Urban Bazaar.

 

 

 

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This is another favorite of mine by  Etsy seller Ten23 Designs, a personalized Decal shop.  This one is available in two sizes, the larger at $50, while the smaller version will run you an easy $24. Decal is made to order, which means you can custom color to suit your own personal style.

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October 27, 2009

Best in Twists

curlAnother week, another protective style. Never thought I’d be the one to become gung ho for these challenges, but I’m finding that it suits not only the weather, but a lifestyle if you’re a no fuss type of gal…which I tend to be;-). It’d been two weeks since my last wash, and needless to say my hair/scalp/entire being wanted to go dunking in bucket of water. Didn’t have a case of the itchies, but did manage to get caught in the NYC downpour this past Saturday. Rain coupled with unusual humidity for an afternoon in October…and well, Sunday morning I rose with the sun and commenced.

weekly-deep-botb2009Shocking, but no pre-poo this week. Boo. Shoulda, woulda, coulda, done one, but didn’t have the right condish/oil blend to assist. Instead began sectioning hair into about 7 or 8 large twists and applied Neutrogena’s Triple Moisture directly to scalp to poo. Worked in a decent lather, followed up with a DC, this week with Jessicurl’s Weekly Deep Treatment. This was my first time using a product from this line, and thought it best to start with the hefty duty DC. NC.com readers recently voted this as one of the ‘Best of the Best’ in hair conditioners for 2009, and with good reason. A peep at the ingredient list below:

“Water infused with Lemongrass, Nettle, Burdock, Kelp,Marshmallow Root, Horsetail, Basil, Bay Leaf, Oregano, Rosemary, Peppermint,Sage, and Thyme; Behentrimonium Methosulfate (and) Cetearyl Alcohol, Shea Butter, Avocado Oil, Cocoa Butter, Lecithin, Aloe Vera Powder, Diazolidinyl Urea (and) Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Fragrance”

Ideally you’d want to use this conditioner along with some heat under a conditioning cap for 20-30 minutes as suggested by the owner/creator. But I decided to bypass this step ( do not do this!!) and conditioned sans heat for 30 minutes, rinsed and applied Afroveda’s Hair Oil directly to scalp and my ends. After applying the oil, donned the condish cap yet again, found my heating cap and sat happily for another half hour or so.

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Fresh Twists

Still going light on the leave-in while undergoing protective styles, so opted this week for Oyin’s Greg’s Juice, an herbal tonic that can be used for a whole host of different ways. It aids in detangling, moisturizes and refreshes dry hair.

Ingredients: Purified Water Infused with Rosemary, Nettle, Horsetail, Red Sage, Lavender, & Chamomile, Flaxseed Decoction, Organic Aloe Vera Juice, Vegetable Glycerin, Essences of Rosemary, Lavender, Sweet Orange & YlangYlang, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Vitamin C.

Took a chance using this under Afroveda’s Shea-Amla Whipped Crème, but was happy with the results. Twisted with this pair into small twists, then air dried for the remainder of the day.  Monday for work, wore the do up and pinned every which way by just grabbing and pinning haphazardly. Today, twists were pulled back again, half up, the rest down & the faux bang swept/pinned to the side.  All in all, good times with the hair this week.  Whether I’ll keep the twists in for another two weeks like before is still

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Back View of Twists

TBD.  The rainy/humid weather is playing my hand a bit but I have a few tricks….and pins I can dig up to prolong the do. Not too many drawbacks of wearing a protective style, save for… perhaps the lack in variety.  I adore leaving my hair alone for days at a time, getting up in the a.m. and to simply GO! Can’t really beat it, but Winter is no doubt a long season, and I anticipate some sort of boredom down the line.  In my stash I do have perm rods, flexirods etc. to maybe break up the inevitable monotony, so will try and experiment with a twist-fro sometime before the week’s up, or even next week once the twists are freshly washed so they can set better & last longer;-)

October 23, 2009

Simple Spotlight

Alright, so lately I’ve been stuck as to what to highlight as a Spotlight over the past few weeks. Haven’t been hunting for the hottest/greatest product for the skin/hair for a while. Mostly just been preoccupied with saving a couple pennies like every other free spending broke spirit these days. Definitely penny pinching, yet still I have to say I’ve found time to snag a goodie product a few weeks back.

wipesIt’s been getting colder outside and I’m being forced into the habit of layering up my wardrobe and digging deep into my closet to find those now dusty closed toe shoes. These changes I don’t mind…for the most part. My deal though always seems to be transitioning over to a different skin routine that complies with the change in weather. Frankly, I’m a lazy girl in the winter! I have a harder time getting up in the a.m. and have zero trouble hitting the bed after a long day at work. But what’s usually considered a big beauty don’t, I usually DO. I typically succumb because my eyelids seem to have minds of their own.

I come home from work, rummage to find stuff to cook up for the din din, catch up on the news, hit up some of my favorite blogs/sites, call the folks to say ‘I’m still alive’ and slowly retire to bed only to do it all over again the next day. My night routine is virtually non-existent, on a scale of 1- 10….I’d be kind and place me in the 3’s. To be honest, with a head full of natural hair, time is usually spent on remoisturizing and tying down the hair as opposed to anything else. So rather having to make time to do other things like match my pajamas, wash the dinner dishes or plan out next days outfit, I decided to invest in something that would save time instead.

Now, this is certainly anything but revolutionary, in fact facial wipes have been in women’s beauty routines for a while now. I don’t know, you could call it my paranoid need to read the ingredients in just about every product that goes in my body…or again my laziness, but I never seemed to find the right brand best suited for my sensitive skin. Thankfully, it was when I wasn’t fully searching for something, that Simple Wipes kind of landed in my line of vision. Alcohol free, Fragrance free, Oil free. All essentials if you live in the land of sensitive skin. Without even leaving the comforts of my bed, I’m able to cleanse my face & remove any eye makeup, while the wipes leave my skin…seriously soooo soft and fresh feeling! These have been a must staple in my sub-par routine now for the past several weeks, & at $6 for a pack of 25 it neatly fits into my current budget.

The company’s based out in the UK, but many of their wipes are availble in the U.S. in stores, if you’re in NYC, hit up your local Duane Reade to find, or visit duanereade.com to peruse.

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October 21, 2009

DAWN OKORO

A while ago I stumbled upon the beautiful work of Dawn Okoro while stalking this Fly site.  Her art is truly some of the more inspiring portraits of women I’ve seen in a long time.  And to my suprising delight, several of her prints are available for purchase at an insanely good price.  Click here to check out the goods, and for drips of creative inspiration. Click here to purchase.

 

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October 20, 2009

Protective Stylin, Yo!

curlI think I’ve finally hit a milestone in my hair this week! Unexpected, but very much welcomed. I’ve been fighting an impending cold over the past few days, took the day off from work just yesterday, and could not muster up the strength to dip my head in water. So while Sunday flew by, & Monday made its appearance, I played it cool and simple by re-twisting my hair last night using a light moisturizing spray.

Last week Thursday, took down the protective twist style, unraveled without separating too much and just let the hair be, probably the best thing I could’ve done. Sunday all day wore my hair up in a pony and tied down, essentially going for the ‘I’m sick don’t care,’ look. Worked great! Monday night found me really with no choice but to re-twist my hair, while I spritzed a bit of Jane Carter’s Revitalizing Leave-In.

That was it! From the time I had my hair up in twists to the takedown, the only moisturizer of choice was surprisingly the Jane Carter spray. My hair was still shinny and relatively frizz free. My biggest concern with skipping my wash day was my scalp. I need that puppy to be prime and cleaned each week to ward off a case of the itchies, but a dab of Afroveda’s Shikakai Oil on the scalp before heading to bed seemed to do the trick. Before donning the bonnet, I did cover the twists with a conditioning cap to seal in the moisture…similar to the baggy method, yet my hair was fully dry.

This morning, I kid not…I walked out the door with what resembled first day hair! Frizz-free, moisturized and shiny from root to tip. I do feel a bit leery about not washing/styling this week, almost as if I’m getting away with something…Yet the results after last week’s hot oil treatment was probably the best thing I could’ve done to kickstart my winter hair routine. It’s been more than a year since I’ve gone longer than 7 or 8 days in between washes, and today marks the 10th day! I’d call it a milestone because I’d long given up on going this long due to my scalp problems.

I won’t lie, my scalp irritations do still exist, but I do believe a happy medium has been found in choosing the right shampoos to cleanse the scalp, the right routine to help eliminate unwanted buildup, and just because I think it’s important to mention…what goes in the body as well. I’ve been carefully monitoring what I eat over the past few months and also hammering down my stress levels…all past contributors to flare ups in/around my scalp.

Essentially though I’m excited! Protective styling is the bizness, and I certainly plan on continuing well into the winter months. Why mess with what works?!

October 16, 2009

Runaway

Yah, I’m in a zone…Baseball Playoffs are in full swing and I’m a girl turned Yankee whore right about now.  It’s unfortunate…or my friends tell me, but thankfully it only comes my way once a year.   In the meantime here’s a brief update on the do.  Took down the first in a series of protective styles, and really decided that a low level of manipulation is best until wash day Sunday.  So while the twists are down and un-done, I still plan to pin up for work & play on Saturday:

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On another note, while biting my nails during the games this week and next, I tend to alleviate frustrations by listening to music and updating my set lists.  Here’s a cute vid I stumbled upon a while ago that really just made me naturally smile.  The artist is Georgia Muldrow, a beautiful voice and inspiring song to boot! Her LP drops November 10th, but in the meantime…keep a sharp eye out for all the pretty natural fros in the vid;-)

 

October 12, 2009

Fly Inspiration

curlAnyone make it to a GOOD HAIR screening this weekend? The buzz so far aims in the more positive directions, which I think is a great thing! Positivity all around is a good thing;-).  I’m a late bird, so I’m off to see it tonight with a friend after work.  Brief review and thoughts TBD tomorrow!  I’ll be taking mental notes while munching on some snacks and surveying the crowd of peeps to see the general consensus of those in attendance.  Anyone who’s willing to shell out $12 (!!!) to see women/men talk and ramble about hair for an hour and a half are …in my short book, special people!

I really did want to show up to the theatre with my hair praising all things natural and wow! But the inkling I had that the weather might take a nasty windy turn was right on point.  Quest # 1 of my protective style began this past Saturday, and triplemoisturecommenced as usual with a pre-poo ( Aubrey Organics Island Naturals Condish diluted in some H2O).  I’m still determined to find a relatively good sulfate-free shampoo that will not strip my hair like my previous try with J/A/S/O/N/’s aloe Shampoo.  The road was scary especially after last week’s dry fest, but I sank back into my earlier PJ stash and found an oldie yet goodie in Neutrogena’s Triple Moisture Dry Scalp Remedy Shampoo.   At a relatively good price of about $6.99 to $9.00, it’s more than an effective poo at fully cleansing the scalp without leaving hair stripped.  What I used to find especially pleasing is after shampooing, my hair actually felt a bit more moisturized (++)!!  The Shampoo does have active ingredients ( Pyrithione Zinc (0.5%) (Purpose: anti-dandruff), that are meant to alleviate scalp irritations, and a mild  surfactant sulfate (Sodium Trideceth Sulfate),  yet because it has never stripped my hair, it’s a definite keeper for now. 

DC this week was a first for me, and also a new found love!! I’d never done a Hot Oil treatment until this past weekend, and I cannot believe what my hair has been missing out on!  I think too much of the time we hear about traditional DC’s packed with our favorites (shea butter, coconut cream, etc.) that we pardon the idea of treating our hair to an oil treatment much too quickly.  To be honest, it was on a whim that I decided to try it, time on my hands as well…but I used some Hairveda CoCasta Oil along with Oyin Handmade’s Blended Body Oil.  That’s right….BODY OIL!  I had a full bottle since the beginning of the Summer, only using a dollop here and there….but the ingredients where just too good for me not to use.

Descrip from site:

AfterBath is a blended vegetable oil mix rich in Vitamins E, D, B1 and B2. Some of its ingredients include olive, virgin coconut, jojoba, avocado, sweet almond, wheat germ, rice bran, and black seed oils. It glides on smoothly, making it ideal as a massage oil; penetrates deeply, making it a lovely body oil.

As with most of the Oyin goodies, it’s multipurpose and lovely smelling! I was able to safely and effectively detangle my hair with the oil saturated in, sit under a plastic cap with heat for two hours, fully rinsed (lightly co-washed) and was just the most giddy person looking at the shine and moisture BACK in my hair! Mission Accomplished!! Hot Oil Treatments are simply…THE BEST! Frankly, a tad messy, but heck anything with practice gets better right? That’s the track I’ve set for myself…a once a month Hot Oil treatment with an oil goody of my choice and my hair will soak in the rewards.  As of now (Monday, did my hair Saturday night), my hair is rocking the Black Cedar Fig aroma of the Oyin Bath Oil.  It’s a warm lovely, inviting smell perfectly suited for the current weather.  Me loves!

So beyond the Oil treatment, for styling I opted for simplicity, going with a light leave in, Jane Carter”s Revitalizing Spray & to style the reliable Darcy’s Botanicals Madagascar Styling Creme.  The point was NOT to have my hair appear one gleepy globby mess of oil, and the Jane Carter leave-in stepped up to the plate.

Ingredients:

Purified Water, Extracts of Aloe Vera, Comfrey, Watercress, Myrrh, Panthenol, Essential Oils, Anthemis Noblis Flower, Symphytum OfficinalLeaf, Equisetum Arvense, Urtica Dioica (Nettle), Rosemarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf, Humulus Lupulus (Hops) Lawsonia Inermis (Henna), Butoxyethenol, Polyquarternium11, Soyamid DEA, PPG30, Cetyl Ether, Oleth-3 Phosphate, Hydantoin, Glyceryl caprylate, methylisothiazolinone (preservative)

I’d like to say it’s more of a setting lotion than a leave-in…? Yep, going to say just that because while it does hydrate, it fails to aid me in detangling my coarse hair.  I’ve tried with a large toothed comb before, and there just was no give.  If your hair is sufficiently conditioned (DC’d), and you’re able to run a comb through it without any resistance, treat yourself to this spray because it’s effective in acting as a humectant (Panthenol is high on the list), and it doesn’t weigh the hair down if you’re prone to using a heavy styling butter/creme.

Protective Styling. I’m new to this game, let me just say that.  I’ve never fully committed to a hair challenge or style in the past, and honestly never thought to until this past week.

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October 9, 2009

Karen’s Body Beautiful – B2G1

THIS is the one I’ve been waiting for! I was down to my last palmful of KBB milk this past week, and with no time to run to the store here in BK, this Friday Freebie is a huge YES!

 

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Apparently it’s the last one of the year! I’ve got my fingers crossed that it’s the last Freebie Friday on the Hair Milk deals and not our sweet FFF…Oh dear…but good thing I’m in the mood to stock up for winter;-)

October 8, 2009

Support #naturalhair

twitterNot for nothing, but even as a kid I used to take pride in knowing that I was more tech savvy than both my parents… combined. I used to relish in it, particularly when I had to show my even more proud father how to download a file or copy and paste a document. “Used To,” being the operative word. These days I often feel I’m playing catch-up to all the internety things going on out there. I don’t have a MySpace account; honestly I always found that sight a bit scheevy. I was never a party of Friendster, Meebo or that hi5 thingy some of my friends tried to get me to sign up for. In college some moons ago, I did sign up for a Facebook account, something that I still access regularly even today.

New to me though is this whole Twitter phenomena (don’t I sound old!). Apparently, once you ‘Tweet’ you never go back, and once you’ve ‘RT’ed’ another Twitterer, then you’re solidified in the game. Now, because I was an ‘outsider’ only just a few weeks ago, I guarantee you I’m aware how…mundane this may sound, but alas a silver lining!

I’m not a connoisseur of the platform just yet, but once I week I do actually look forward to the virtual natural hair meet up! Anyone of you guys know of this?! I’m usually the last one to arrive to the party, but the Twitter meet up happens Sunday nights @10pm via the #naturalhair tag. It’s a great space to tweet it up with others in the natural hair community, share any frustrations (winter/dry hair issues…anyone?), pose any questions…learn about hair care routines that have worked for others…good times! I’ve pocketed some interesting pre-poo recipes already, and hope to implement other tidbits into my weekly routine. The actual chat session lasts for an hour from 10-11, and the only catch appears that you have to sign up for an account. I’ve really come to look forward to it each week simply because it’s the easiest breezy platform to chat it up with other’s experiencing the same hair drama issues as you. I’m tinkering around with the blog, trying to see how I can add the Twitter app. to post some of the tweets, but until then hope to see you @#naturalhair, Sundays @ 10!

October 7, 2009

Cranky Hair

hair1Fool me once, shame on me…fool me twice, well then there’s just no excuse.  What am I talking about? Bottom line, I will not have a repeat of the dryness I’ve been experiencing  this past week.  I love my hair…I do, nothing pleases me more than caring for it, dishing about the latest product finds for natural hair, the actual anticipation of trying these products….I honestly ENJOY the whole Process. Yet, what I resent just a tad is worrying about what my hair looks like or will look like in the morning/afternoon/evening.  The energy and effort I put forth into washing/styling each week warrents to me a level of satisfaction that I have come to expect.  I seriously cannot STAND spending more than 15 minutes each morning pinning and tucking, fluffing and teasing my hair.  No time. I work a 9-5 which means I really work a 8:30 to 5:30…if I’m lucky, so I do not have the time to spare.

Dramatist much? Yes. But it’s my hair that’s feeding me crap this week and I’m hitting back.

As far as I’m conncerned Bro Man Winter is here and I was essentially ill prepared for his arrival.  It wasn’t even that long ago, earlier this year in fact, that I established a routine that left my hair fully moisturized, bouncy, SHINNY & happy.  For the most part retaining moisture had never been a major problem for my hair, you can even click here to read me brag on about my Moisture regime featured on BGLH. I nailed my hair care routine down to the teeeeeee!!

Alright, but the past is the past, must move on.  As a certified PJ, this builds my excitement just a tad to try new products and even fall back on old time favorites that harken back to my TWA days.  Should be a treat! This go around the aim is to go for companies and products with a good roll call…meaning word of mouth for the most part has been consistent.  My PJ radar is up and FULLY functioning, so tomorrow I’m hitting up spots (online & in-store) that sell my beloved Curl Junkie, Qhemet Biologics,  Shea-Moisture, Aveda & other Drugstore goodies I’ve been lamenting.  This is no one shot deal though-I am still a PJ on a budget, funds are still precious and frugal on most days.

Really, I’m aiming to spark a trend with my hair this winter and that is to rock the moisture ALL DAY LONG! I’m a persistant thing, stubborn too, so I will get this done this here season. Some fine bloggers and  hair sites are already well ahead of the game, click here and here to read some amazing helpful tips and clues on how to care for Winter hair.  And if anyone has any tips of their own for combating dryness, and product suggestions or techniques, anything that’s worked for you in the past or are trying now, do drop a line in the comment section!

 

 *thanks to urbansista over @ The Accidental Natural for the link😉