Archive for November, 2009

November 30, 2009

Learning the Hard Way

via Tony Straw

 

Vacation days are coming to a close in a few days, and although I’m reluctant to admit it…I do miss NYC.  The weather here in FL. has been pleasant, plenty of soft sunny days to make a girl smile, and just the right amount of rainy days to force you under the covers to catch up on some old reading. I’ve caught up long lost sleep, languished in the loveliness that was Thanksgiving with family, celebrated a birthday bringing me one step closer to the big 3-0, and survived another round of Kinky Curly Curling Custard.

Survived, not yet mastered what for some is a random trial and error, and at this point with the second go round under my belt…I’m ready to just throw in the towel. For the most part application was easy. I washed/DC’d and applied the product to hair. Early instincts were relatively good. I had great definition, minimal to zero frizz and my hair was dramatically elongated.

All great factors in a good product. Now, if only all those factors would’ve taken my hand and followed me over to ‘dryland’. After the KCCC became fully dried, a full day and a half later…I had definition, but a bit less than after initial application.  Significant frizz popped up in hidden areas throughout my head…particularly the back.  Shrinkage, never really something I concern myself with….yet somehow, I slowly became unnerved as the days let on, and my hair shrunk…and shrunk some more when humidity wanted to play nice at high noon.

So, I’m done. And it’s not because of what I’ve just explained, it’s largely due to an unexpected irritation that popped up along my hairline a few days after using the KCCC. Painful irritations that had me looking in the mirror…asking myself if it was really worth it.

It was not.

I say all that to say…while I still like the product, it doesn’t fit well at all into my routine. My current gripe really, is not being able to commit the time to find a good balance when using the KCCC & also realizing my scalp issues really do dictate and control all hair related decisions.  Granted, as fast as these flareups pop up, they just as quickly calm down and disappear. Yet, trade-offs are not my thing when a product cost $25 bucks.

As much as I love dressing my hair in different products and conditioners each week, realistically I care more about hair health than the prospects of achieving any kind of ‘look.’ So Friday  found me up & early lightly washing the KCCC out of my hair, conditioning for a few with Herbal Essences Hello Hydration then twisting in medium/large twists with Afroveda‘s Shea-Amla Buttercreme under a bit of KBB hair milk. The twists were left in until this morning, unraveled and made to breathe in the Florida air.

 

I’m a Product Junkie, yes. Again, I love trying out the latest goop to hit the market just like the next girl who has her eye on the new HOBO bag for the new season. If you work hard, play hard, your hair in my opinion is a natural reflection of that. But first and foremost…I’m a realist. If it’s not ‘working’ move on.

 

*With that, I hope everyone’s Holiday was Blessed, and the prospects of an impending New Year are looking sweet;-)!

November 25, 2009

Black Friday Deals

Y’all….STILL watching Food Network! I can’t…I mean, I LOVE food, and pre-Thanksgiving specials make me sooo very happy.  The holiday itself is such a treat, being surrounded by family and all the best foods you’ve long craved for throughout the year. I’ve already settled on a few side dishes to contribute to the grand affair…(Pumpkin Swirl Brownies, Roasted Sweet Potatoes w/Honey Butter, & The Ultimate Potato Gratin).  My Mum is the queen of the kitchen as far as the main dishes go, but it’s still nice to contribute something that will hopefully have everyone’s mouth watering.

I’ve got all my ingredients ready to go, but in the meantime it’s time to dish about all the great sales on the horizon!! Time to un-pinch a few pennies and treat yourself to some great deals. Curl Junkie’s having a one day sale this Friday, Nov. 27th with up to 50% off select items online.  In addition, receive 10% off orders of $50 or more… & welcome into the Curl Junkie family 5 all new products!! Snippets about each new reveal below:

Here’s the scoop…the new products are:

Beauticurls Daily Conditioner – an lightweight instant conditioner/detangler that is perfect for everyday use for all hair types.

Beauticurls Leave-in Conditioner – The companion to the daily conditioner, this is an emollient rich, yet lightweight, detangling, and glycerin-free leave-in.

Curl Assurance Smoothing Conditioner – Got Frizz? This is the conditioner for you. It is perfect for giving you daily moisture with just the right amount of frizz control. This will come in a 12 oz. size!

Curl Fix – Intense Hair Treatment – This is a wonderfully restoring deep treatment that is rich in proteins and amino acids to help your damaged/dry tresses. This is a well balanced treatment that does not leave your hair hard or dry. It can also be used in place of a leave-in as an all-day hair treatment. Wonderful for fine-haired curls as well!

Curls in a Bottle – Curl Styling Solution – This product is all you need to get your curls looking right. Perfect for all hair types especially fine hair, this hair styling liquid gel has a flexible, not hard, hold and due to it’s lightweight conditioners, it won’t dry out your hair. Works well with leave-ins and other styling products and adds great shine and bounce to curls! This also comes in a 12 oz. size!

Stop by Curl Junkie Friday, Nov. 27th for more details on each new product along with coupon codes.

Brown Butter Beauty’s having a 25% off one day sale this Friday, Nov, 27th.  Her Etsy store features Bath & Body goodies (handmade soaps, facial moisturizers, body splashes, body butters), and hair products.  My favorite so far is the Healthy Scalp Serum w/Babassu Oil, Acai Oil Rosehip Oil Rosemary & Monoi de Tahiti Oil.

Afroveda!! Sale!! Starts this Friday and ends Nov. 29th with discounts of up to 25% off. Nuff said.

 

 

 

The Miss Jessie’s yearly BOGO starts this Friday and ends December 31st.  If you’re near a Miss Jessie’s distributor, best bet is to stop in and stock up.  BOGO’s are traditionally honored in store as well.  A lot of ladies look forward to this deal all year, stock up and save on the worries of shelling out $58 for a jar of Curly Buttercreme.  BOGO does apply to anything of equal or lesser value, so depending on whether you’re a newbie to the line, trying the small 2 oz sizes might work, or if you’re a veteran opt of the 16 oz.

Another favorite, Darcy’s Botanicals is having a 25% off sale this Friday. Both the Etsy and regular site are temporarily out of stock to gear up for the sale, but Lysandra is also set to introduce a few new goodies to the collection!

Hairveda is also in on the fun! Details can be found here, but sources tell me all favorites and staples will be reduced (Vatika Frosting…).

Our Hair Care Aficionado over at Clutch Mag. Laquita is hosting a pretty awesome giveaway on her own blog All Naptural in conjunction with Shelley of  Naturi Beauty Blog. Both are offering goodies from both their lines, poo bars and hair moistruizers…two absolute essentials for the winter weather.   Click here to learn more about Shelly’s line of moisturizers, and here to stock up on Laquita’s poo bars. I’ve already entered both giveaways…because really why not! The Naturi Quench & Naturi Curli moisturizers really does look perfect for twists!

Alright, these were just a few, please drop me a line in the comment section or by e-mail if you’ve heard any other deals (backtocurly@gmail.com). Right now, I’m off to buy a mixer for my dessert treats tomorrow (my Mum still prefers wooden spoons to mix…Whaaaaaa!!), a Target run is definitely in order;-)

November 24, 2009

Day After: KCCC

Would you believe me if I reported:

  1. I Applied Kinky Curly Curling Custard yesterday afternoon
  2. It is now 24 hrs later and my hair is still damp

If you’ve used this product before, we are practically holding hands right about now, am I right?! Well….okay, maybe not.  But honestly I expected no less when I packed up ‘ol KCCC Saturday morning, in hopes of giving it another try in the more forgiving temps promised by Florida weather.

I ended up Pre-pooing Monday afternoon with Herbal Essences Hello Hydration, twisted in sections then followed up with a decent scalp lather using Naked Naturals Shea Smoothing Shampoo.  DC’d this week with KBB’s Deep Conditioner for two hours, cold rinsed than ran through the motions…

…Tip # 1. If you’re planning on using KCCC without a leave-in, you’re already on the wrong track.

…Tip #2. If you’re thinking of using an alternative leave-in to the Kinky Curly Knot Today…you’ve made a wrong turn

…Tip # 3. Patience will not only be your friend, you should also make nice with it’s cousins, ‘Trial & Error.’

I applied the KCKT under the Custard in small sections starting from the back, working my way forward…a complete reverse of how I applied it close to a year ago which was in heaps and globs.  Yes, it has a gel-like consistency, but forewarning…it is anything BUT a traditional gel.  If applied on hair that is not sufficiently wet (practically soaking), the results may leave a visible white residue once dry & or a sticky feeling.  Not a good look.

…Tip #4. If you’re no fan of clarifying your hair, making an exception here might bode well for stellar results.  Applying KCCC to hair loaded with product buildup is an immediate recipe for disaster.  I’d recommend using a non-sulfate poo, or ACV rinse to break up residual buildup from previous product use.

A lot of the times when rinsing out my DC, I don’t have a problem leaving just a small amount, it honestly helps to detangle and my leave-in of choice goes on much smoother, I had to nix on this by thoroughly rinsing the DC before making any strides towards styling. A clean slate of hair will save ample amount of time once hair is ready to dry.

Application took all of 45 minutes, and the Custard did leave my hair elongated and seemingly shiny and frizz free.  The stipulations of these are of course based on time.  24 hours after applying, my hair has experienced shrinkage that even surprised my own MUM, and while there is minimal frizz, the few sections that show signs are where I might’ve neglected to apply the product evenly (*having a water bottle handy sooo helpful! Hair really does need to be WET before applying the leave-in, followed by Custard).

The pic to the left shows a dramatic difference in how my hair initially looked right after application, again…shrinkage.  Something that I don’t mind in the least, yet shrinkage with the Custard leaves the curls a bit stagnant in one place.  I’ve been shaking, trying to free up the fro since this morning, and have little give.  The back portion of the hair is still damp in spots, and at this point I honestly do not care…fudge the frizz.

My biggest concern right now is making the style prolong until…jeesh, I’d say until Thanksgiving and I’ll be more than satisfied.  Tonight I’ll tie it down…or up in two ponies…spread a bit of KBB hair cream to soften up some hardened areas & also to increase the shine for the next morning.  Not really used to my hair looking curly without the benefit of sheen.

Most tips mentioned here & more can be found at Kinky-Curly.com There you’ll also find a product demovid using the Custard.  But in all honesty some of the best results ( I consider my 2nd go still a ‘Trial & Error’), head over to Youtube and peruse your search for Kinky Curly application vids.  TONS to choose & view.  My fav lately is from the already Fab Kimmaytube.  Her latest vid demonstrates the difference between the KCCC and the growing popularity of ECO styler gel, a less expensive alternative for many ladies. At $29.99 you’ll secure a hefty 16oz, while $17 will snag you the cool new 8oz jar.

 

November 23, 2009

Holiday Bound

It’s Monday & I’m watching pre-Thanksgiving specials on the Food Network, trying to decide on side dishes for the Holiday, while DC’ing my hair.  A late start to this week’s wash/style due to packing, traveling…complaining about how HOT it is in Florida…but my biggest gripe:

HARD WATER

Last year I learned a very valuable lesson while visiting the fam here in the Sunshine State. Hard Water is not my friend…nor my conditioner’s friend, or my Shampoo’s friend.  There’s an instant inability for any of my poos to work up a decent lather, my conditioner fails to adequately condition, rather leaving my strands feeling stripped…and any styler added leaves a vile case of the frizzies.

This year, after touching down and retrieving my luggage I essentially had one goal in mind: Find a water filter. I arrived in Florida early Sunday morning (1am ish), woke up close to 12 noon and made my rounds through the strip malls.  With my parents chastising me on the lengths I would actually go to in order to do my hair, I found a decent candidate at a Bed Bath & Beyond store.  At $47….Ehhh…Expensive, I know!

Swiftly moving on, & Monday morning patrolled a few internet sights, and found another possible candidate at a local Walgreens!! Lucky me, there seems to be a Walgreens every other block in Southern Florida, so didn’t have to travel far. Came away with a filter attachment for the faucet, NOT the shower…more pocket friendly this route.

I’m also thinking…why not try KCCC!? Random, but I’ve got ample time to kill, and I’m going to need it while it dries on my head. This won’t be the first time using the KCCC, but this will be my first time using it post-heat damage.  I’ll update with results & pics, and Process details after all this is done;-)


November 18, 2009

Welcome Back, Corinne

Corinne Bailey Rae

 

Aside from the infamous gorgeous head of hair, Lady Bailey always seems to exude a remarkably beautiful spirit.  I bought her first album back in 2007 after seeing the breathtaking video for  “Put Your Records On,” instantly fell in love! Her new album ‘The Sea’ drops in early 2010 (my ears tell me early February!). You can watch some of that spirit captured in the video below.

 

 

 

 

November 16, 2009

Happy Endings

Back to the tried and true this week. I was admittedly happier than usual because of the new cut, anxious to see how it’d turn out once all was washed/styled & done. Re-introduced back into my routine, courtesy of freshly trimmed ends, was my Denman brush! Detangling hasn’t really been too much of a bother using other tools in the interim, although it was at times a bit tedious, taking care not to rip the knots out of my hair which soon formed at the ends. No more snip snipping for a while though…here’s hoping!

Nothing fancy this week—>prepoo’d with Vo5’s Moisture Milks condish, applied Naked Naturals Shea Butter & Avocado Smoothing Shampoo, DC’d to finish off JessiCurl’s Weekly Deep Conditioner. I did manage a good three servings from the jar (which I believe is 8oz). Granted, I’m one of the heavy handed conditioner appliers.  Frankly, my hair does better when applying a good coating of condish, particularly if it’s on the thicker side. With a thinner condish…(thinner for me would be Oyin’s Honey Hemp) it’s much easier to use more sparingly. When using AOHR, the end result is a white coating well throughout my hair…the same went for the Jessicurl. Made sure to apply a good coating throughout the hair, twisted to about 15 or so twists. DC’d for two hours this week (an hr. of that was under a heating cap).

After cold rinsing, dug up the remainder of my lasting KCKT and Donna Marie’s Lock & Load Twist Pudding.

*edit– Honestly, skeptical about using the Donna Marie’s Pudding this week. Whaaaa!! Purchased during the last haul a couple wks back, and realized a few things: the color was different, smell changed & the consistency was not as I remembered.  Skeptical…and curious because my enduring love for this product was in jeopardy.  Read about the lurv here. Here goes—>

Applied KCKT under the Lock & Twist Pudding, air dried and topped off with KBB’s Hair Cream for added shine and to seal ends.  Change of nightime routine! Before donning the satin bonnet, placed a conditioning cap over the dry twists to seal in moisture overnight.  Been doing this for the past month or so and have noticed  a HUGE differnce in how the hair retains moisture. It’s a baggying of sorts, but less so because I do not apply a leave-in or spritz. My goal is to help retain the moisture already in the hair, hopefully to last until mid-week before it’s time to remoisturize. After, donned the satin bonnet as usual, woke up the next morning and fluffed out the twists.

Thankfully, results from the *new Pudding produced no noticeable difference from the last batch tried several months ago.  A bit of frizz from over manipulating first day hair, but other than my own over anxious fingers, hair was singing all the way to work! My ends are looking better than they’ve been for some time, and the layers from last week’s cut are letting the undone twists fall better into place.  This coming week will be a return to protective styling.  Visiting the folks for the holidays, and I’m a no fuss gal whenever I visit the fam…a.k.a, I sit on the sofa and watch Food Network all day;-)!

November 12, 2009

Kreativ Side

So I’m starting to think my new cut is bringing about some sweet luck!  The lovely CallaLily of BreaKINK New Ground nominated Back To Curly for the Kreativ Blogger Award!

kreativ_award

#1. I NEVER win anything

#2. I’m so thankful & flattered, thanks girl!

#3. I have to pass this sweet award to 7 other fab blogs, but if you’re  a regular reader…you might know I suffer from slight agita over picking randomness relative to just about anything! So…off the top of my head here are just a few lovely blogs run by some inspiring groups of ladies;-)!

 

Leave In The Kinks

MAKEUP FIEND

The Soap Seduction

Naturally Obsessed

Black Girls Run

 

Stay Blessed Everyone;-)

*update, so silly! Forgot to mention…rules to accepting are:

Copy and paste award onto your blog/post, nominate 7 other Fab kreativ blogs and do make sure they hear the news by stopping by their blog;-)

November 10, 2009

Scissor Friendly

curlSo yesterday was finally the day to reassess the situation.  It’d been weeks since I started rambling and complaining about my ends needing to be trimmed.  Just last week I wrestled with so many snarls and knots, I was forced to reach for a pair of scissors, turn a blind eye and snip! It really did feel like the worst kind of defeat, knowing the state of my hair was of my own doing. Shame.on.Me.

Thankfully, with the help of a good friend and a pair of sheers I was able to claim some hair sanity by shedding several inches of damaged colored/fried ends. This had been my dirty little secret for some time…my nicely camouflaged damaged ends.  Each week I’d treat them to EXTRA TLC by sealing and twisting until all was smooth and tucked away.  But with winter, there really is no fooling the harsh winds and the inevitable hat hair, so…what started out as a ‘trim’ transformed into a surprisingly nice hair cut! Ends are now smooth, and the ‘cut’ is layered and happily asymmetrical;-)!

After the cut, the hair was styled with a bit of Afroveda Shea-Amla Whipped Creme and I went about my way.  The twists were medium sized & this morning were undone to rock a short twist out.  NYC’s Indian Summer weather over the past few has been the best blessing in terms of retaining moisture, perfect to let the hair loose for this week without the worry of re-moisturizing each night.

Turns out I’m secretly excited to be sporting a bit of a shorter do.  I lost some length but gained hair health, and the trade off is beyond worth it. My heat damaged fiasco is a mere figment of my imagination these days, and even though I’m still growing out the rest of my hair color from over a year ago, I’m happy to be experiencing a change in my hair routine.  It’d been a while since I did anything beyond washing/conditioning/styling in twists and the week to week Process was resembling a farce. I didn’t want to color my hair, not yet interested in committing to the idea of kinky twists, henna etc., and in my case the happy medium was attained  two-fold by getting rid of the damaged ends & shaping up.

Below are before and afters. The first pic is of last week’s twistout, and the second is my new cut!

Next week I style my new bouffant, and my PJ hands cannot wait!

November 7, 2009

The Who’s Who in Hair Care

Grab a pen and take note. The wonderful CallaLily has put together just a wonderful video serving up the who’s who in the African American hair care industry right now. You know why I LOVE this? Because it’s necessary. Press play, and pass on the link;-)!!

 

Do check out her blog along with some crazy good hair recipes over at BreaKINK New Ground. Thanks CallaLily;-)!

November 5, 2009

Oyin’s Burnt Sugar Pomade

DaxVegetableOilPomade

Time to divulge some truth.  I do not like pomades. Yessir. I do not adhere to the wonders of the grease as I once did when these strands were  once relaxed.  Now though, when I say ‘grease‘ you have to understand something, maybe even take a short trip back with me to a time when we were all little brown girls getting our hair parted, braided & laced up with bows for kindergarten to KNOW of what I speak. My visual may be different from yours, my two french braids may have even been a bit more crooked, but I hint and point to that fanciful pic on the left…you’ll hopefully understand where it all began.

I’m a product of the ’80’s, the decade of cultural identity & CarebearsRainbowbright & L.A. Gear…all the good stuff.  Hecked if I sound old, yet in those days mothers like my Mum used the powers of DAX to cure everything a hot comb couldn’t.  I promise you, the smell of this stuff still lingers in the child-full colors of my mind…the memories are both good and cringe appropriate. After my first perm relaxer  in the 6th grade, I continued the greasy tradition, using the DAX to store the kitchen hairs that typically escaped my dollar scrunchy.

There really was no reason to cease the grease over the years, but in High School the idea of using Let’s JAM! to obtain that slicked back grown look was much too tempting. But even that only lasted until my hairline and remaining baby hairs screamed at me to stop the crazy and just let my Dominican Hairstylist take the wheel.

Wow, so I say all that to say that I’ve quietly reunited with a lost love in the form of Oyin’s Burnt Sugar Pomade! Wooozah! I’ve kept this love under wraps for a few months because…well it was really that hard for me to get my nose physically out of the jar. If you’ve already sampled this stuff, you might just get it.

burntsugarSome have compared it to the smell of warm pancakes slathered with maple syrup…oh my.  I won’t disagree with the consensus, but the scent is strong enough to force you into the worst food cravings if you were born with a sweet tooth, or just discovering the joys of comfort food.  It’s sniff worthy to the tenth degree, and I can’t get enough!

As per usual, the gist from the site:

Does your hair love oils? Our “Burnt Sugar” Pomade is a nourishing all-vegetable pomade and styling product named for the uniquely translucent, shimmery quality of warm, homemade caramel.

Similar in texture to an old school ‘hair grease,’ This blend of oils, butters, and veggie waxes acts as a humectant and protectant for hair, increasing shine to a high glossy sheen and locking in moisture. It’s packed with essential fatty acids to nourish scalp, and actually sinks into your hair and skin for a long lasting, non-greasy feeling. It’s great for braids, imparts shine and moisture to loose hair, brushes nicely into the hairline for a glossy finish, and adds luster to locks!

This was an impulse Oyin buy many months ago when I began the search for the now infamous Honey Hemp conditioner. A store in my neighborhood that typically stocked up was out, so I compensated by purchasing the pomade, never really thinking it’d be a gem because…well, my history with pomades runs a bit deep.  The consistency is very similar to a traditional pomade, it might even be a bit more hardened before first use, but  is also quick to emulsify and spreads fairly easily.

A l’il dab will do so very much to impart crazy duty shine, and how I’ve been using it lately to seal my ends when needed after a wash, or even midweek when the twists begin to slightly unravel. The Summer months found me a bit heavy handed with the pomade, using it to slather over the crown of my twist-out fro, and I won’t lie…the best part was leaving a scent trail every which way I turned…forewarning, heads will turn if you dabble more than a l’il.

But what I love best about the pomade is it’s truest claim, NON-GREASY! It instantly sinks into the hair/scalp, letting the hair absorb all the goodness, leaving hair shinny and locking in any existing moisture in the hair.  It’s a natural humectant which scientifically means it draws moisture from the air, pulling in what’s needed to moisturize the hair.  In winter this can signal some trouble if the the air where you live is naturally dry, yet using the pomade while in the run of protective styling helps to avoid this slight, at least for me.

In the vid below, Jamyla and her hubby explain the best ways in which to winterize your current humectant stash if your hair is not adjusting. (Added Oyin Coupon code @ the end of vid!)

If you’re not a scent person, you will not be entertained by this product.  The site description hints to a ‘subtly sweet fragrance,’ and my trigger foot is down to say….Ummm…no. On my best days I do not mind smelling like a floating pancake so it suits a purpose in my PJ stash, but if you’ve ever walked by a candle store and gone (WTH!!), abort this mission & wait until the lovely Jamyla introduces a scent free version.  Either way, disappointment is not an option.  A 4oz jar runs $10 while the new larger 8oz size will set you back $16.