Experiment


I was inspired to do mini-twists (my third try) again to get ready for my first real spring break vacation! Every year before this I’ve been a high schooler or stuck working a new job that I couldn’t take a week off from just yet. Well, my wonderful boyfriend and I saved up all the money we could and just…left. Haha, it was great! We brought friends, had a crappy hotel, fun, food and drinks…Oh, but you’re here about hair, right?

I don’t have any recent pictures, but here are some twist I’ve had before, as a reference.

Now, while shopping at the beauty supply store I came across this:

The famous ecostyler! I’ve heard a lot of good things and have seen it many tines, but this was the first time I decided to buy it because I knew exactly what I could do with it. You see, my scalp gets itchy. Everyday for most of my life, before and after going natural. So it had only been a few days to a week since I had these twists in and they were already looking fuzzy! This is why I decided to wash and moisturize my poor scalp (I also bought Jamaican Mango & Lime itch relief spray for good measure. Life saver!) and use the Ecostyler gel to help keep my twists intact. Take a look.

ECOSTYLER | WATER

(It’s the less frizzy looking side with the product) Not only did my hair naturally curl up because of the water, the Ecostyler held the twists, the curly ends, and even made it shinier! I was very pleased once it was dry and even slept on it multiple times without any problems.


I’ll stop gushing over how great this was for the beach…Eventually. Water, wind, humidity and sun did nothing to it. I could headbang to my boyfriend’s favorite dubstep songs (ew!) and it was very touchable.

It even looked cool and stylish as a twist out, as opposed to the twist out from the last mini-twists:

My only problem was that it didn’t turn into an awesome fro like my last two minitwists did. Must have been the ecostyler!

It was still cute and pretty durable. And a great protective style. After I combed it out nearly 3 weeks later, there was only minimal hair loss. (And for those wondering, I’m fairly certain I used pure Shea butter and cantu moisturizer for my initial twists)

Happy twisting, everyone!

(Hint hint! The next post may be about straight hair! ;])

Did you miss me? My laptop died, so my posts had to die with it. But everything is back up and running again! The next few posts will be a little old, but hopefully still valuable!

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Don’t get excited! Queen Helene and Cantu haven’t teamed up. I just ran out of oil for my treatment. 😀 By the way, this post has a lot of stuff going on. It starts like this with sad dry hair:

My hair was feeling a little stripped from clarifying it because I didn’t properly moisturize afterwards. I know, I’m terrible. To fix this, I had my good friend Kristin give me her leftover oil from her own treatment. I hoped I’d have better results than she did.
The three things you need for a hot oil treatment are hot water, oil, and a container that won’t melt! I heated up a jar of water in the microwave and let the tube of oil sit in it to get hot. I was worried the tip would get into the water and would flood the tube, but it floated nicely.

The process wasn’t very hard, though it was time consuming. After parting my hair in half, I took sections of my hair and distributed the oil. To help keep it out of the way, I coiled it and clipped it down with a duckbill clip when I was done with a section. I don’t know if I over did it, but I ran out of oil after finishing half of my head, so make sure you have enough when you start this! Luckily, I had some Cantu Nourishing Body Oil left over. The container didn’t do so well in hot water. 😦

In the next picture, you’ll notice that half of my head is a bit more puffy than the other…The puffy side is the Cantu, the smaller side was the Queen Helene. I’m assuming my hair just shrunk a bit, or the clip placement was off or something like that. When I unclipped it, there was no discernible difference between the two halves, besides the Cantu side was a bit more oily (I had more oil, so I was a little more generous with it).

I wasn’t satisfied with the results of either oil, and I’m starting to question the value of doing hot oil treatments. Maybe I’m jsut not doing it right. To further condition my hair, I tried the imfamous, stinky, and very old 5-Minute Reconstructor, and I have to say that I’m finally sold.

Look at that! I could have let it dry like that and head out! (With normal conditioner, my hair is a bit more of a poof even before I dry it).So what’s the first thing I do with my cute curls?I straighten my hair.

Look at the damaged ends! Ugh!

Yeaaaaah. It was a waste of time because it came out horrible. I wasn’t very good at getting it straight when it was permed, and I’m not any better now that I’m natural!

Me, circa 2007

Final Verdict?: I don’t think I’m going to do a hot oil treatment again anytime soon. It didn’t seem to do very much, but…I do love this Reconstructor. I’m going to have to go back for more, and maybe find a replacement when I run out. And as for straightening my hair…I think I’ll pay for a Dominican Blow-out. Much better results! For now, I’m going to stick with heat-free styles as much as I can.


Hair banding seemed like a good way to get an interesting affect on my hair and a blog post, so I tried it.

1. Start with clean damp hair, in this case I washed and detangled my hair first.
2. Divide your hair into one inch-ish sections. I didn’t divide them all at once and I got lazy at some point, as you’ll see, so bear with me.
3. Moisturize each section thoroughly and put a little shea butter at the tips. I don’t know if it works as a “sealant”, but it’s very good for your hair.
4. Use ponytail holders and wrap it a few times around the base of the section, then down the lock until you can’t go any farther. Each time, the ponytail holder didn’t reach all the way down (my hair is getting so long!) so I used little black rubber bands for the rest.

It’s a fairly simple, if tedious process, with the bonus affect of making you look RIDICULOUS. You can enhance the ridiculous factor by using a bunch of different colored bands. 😀 Here’s how it looked completed:

Yeah. I managed to get to sleep like that after covering it with a a satin scarf. When I woke up and took them out, it looked like this! (Don’t say anything about my bad skin, pretty please)

Pretty neat, right? Problem was, I was in a rush and had NO idea how to style it. My only real attempt look horrible.

So I gave up and combed it out.

Obviously that was a terrible idea. I pulled it back, tossed in a bow, and called it a day.

See what a little make up and a fake mole can do?

The bright side is that it really works well to stretch your hair! I’ll have to figure out a better way to get pretty results and style it. Have you tried banding before? This is only one of the many methods to do it, so how do you band? How do you rock your band-out?

Is your hair dry and breaking off? Hot oil treatments don’t work for you? Ready to CUT IT ALL OFF? Well try SUPER-CONDITIONING!!!
(Please Note: I don’t know if this is a good idea, this is just what I do to myself occasionally)

You’ll need:

  • Conditioner
  • Conditioning Shower Cap (or a regular one)
  • Towel

It’s very easy! I recommend doing this at night. Start off with freshly washed or co-washed hair, still damp, and use your favorite conditioner of the moment (Still Suave Professionals for me) to saturate your hair. You can add a little oil if you want. It should look like this, but it can’t hurt to get even worse than that! Or it can. I don’t know. 🙂

Next, pop on the conditioning cap, making sure all your hair is under it (Duh.) I use this shiny silver one that holds heat, but I’m sure a regular shower cap will work just fine. To reduce slippage and attempt to reduce the crinkling noise the shower cap makes, I add a satin bonnet [not pictured, I know you have one].

If you do this at night, like I suggested, or even during the day if you have time to walk around with a crazy concoction on your head, wrap your head in a towel to keep it from dripping while you sleep, walk, do chores, etc. just leave it on for hours and hours. Oh and don’t go out of the house like this. I’ll make fun of you.

That’s all it takes! My hair always becomes softer and curlier, and it’s a low maintenance way to deep condition.

Warnings: The environment you’re creating in your hair is very ideal for bacteria, mold, etc. I wouldn’t leave it in for more than a good night’s sleep (8-10 hours), and it is very important to start with clean hair and clean it again with SHAMPOO (preferably a moisturizing one) when you wake up. My head is frequently itchy when I wake up from doing this, but my head is usually itchy, so I’m used to it and I don’t know if there’s a problem. Let me know how this works for you!

Also, please welcome Jasmine, our third author who put up her first post on Sunday! I’m sure her contribution will be invaluable.

 

On the fourth, my head was an itchy mess from all the shea butter I had put it through, so I wanted to wash it. Also, I was curious about clarifers because I had never clarified my hair before! There are a couple ways to do it homemade, but I found a recepie I thought I could handle, and it also has a couple other homemade recipes.

The recipe for Clarifying Hair is:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 ounce ( 1/8 cup or 30ml) of apple cider vinegar
  • 1.5 ounces (45ml) of lemon juice (My best estimate for the juice of half a lemon)

I also added a half a teaspoon (2.5 ml) of tea tree oil, because I read somewhere it was good for hair clarifying.


Because most sites advised using it on clean hair, I shampoo’d first, then rubbed the
clarifying liquid into my hair. I advise getting a flip-top container so you can control
better where the liquid goes. After that, you rinse it out. My hair seemed to like it (my eyes didn’t):


I then saturated my hair with conditioner and like normal, left it in for 30 minutes (which
turned into an hour due to…let’s say delays. ;D). After I washed and towel-dried it, I
got a more typical curl pattern from my hair than after I tried the Reconstructor a few
days ago:

<Clarified

Reconstructed>

Final Verdict?: I have to say….My hair feels very soft and clean! Plain shampoo doesn’t
seem to get it this clean at all. The smell of vinegar was a huge turn-off to me, but the
results are nice enough that I’m going to have to add clarifying to my normal routine. Most
sites I’ve read suggest every 4-9 weeks.

Now, I’m going to moisturize it, cover it up, and get some sleep!

Edit: In case you don’t know what the purpose of clarifying is, check out on ehow here. In a nutshell, It is for cleaning toxins and remaining residue of products that you use from your hair.

I have a bunch of photos in this one! On January 31st, I didn’t know what to do with my hair. The cute curls from my previous post had degenerated into a poofy, lopsided fro, so after an hour or so of manipulating my hair and eyeing several different products, even looking online for inspiration, I chose to put in twists (very uninspired). First, I sectioned off the front of my hair so that I could pull it back into a little hump later.

Then, starting from the back, I took a vertical section of my hair and divided it evenly into fourths. I continued this going up to the front of my head, dividing as necessary to keep the twists about the same size. Each lock of hair I sprayed with water, added shea
butter, and then twisted. My hair tends to unravel, so I used little black rubber bands to keep the twists together until my hair dried. The first section I made in the front became a very fat twist. Finally:

Although I used shea butter, the front section looked dry. I just added some Hawaiian Silky 14 in 1. In the morning when I woke up, I carefully untwisted my hair, and voila!

Cute, right? It even lasted a few days! Day 2:


Day 3 looked alright, and it would have looked fine on Day 4, had I not been pulling the
twists apart in my hair. By the fourth day I looked like this:

I suppose I could have added moisturizer and pinned it back, but I was ready to try something new, which you’ll see in my the next post.
Final Verdict?: I really liked the result, and because of the twist size, the process only took about an hour. The key to this style is using a LOT of shea butter. I noticed the twisted that had more shea butter lasted even until the fourth day (if I hadn’t pulled them yet). The problem here is that they get kind of greasy, and if you’re anything like me, pure shea butter makes your scalp itch really bad! Also, my boyfriend didn’t really like my hair like this (although others did!). He really prefers my standard fro. Despite that, this style is a keeper! I’m probably going to tweak the process though.

Alright! Let’s see if I can remember exactly what happened. 😀

January 28th I went with Kristin to a huge discount beauty supply! It was a lot of fun, but
some of the products were very…old. I found one that looked interesting: Excele’s 5-
Minute Reconstructor

It claimed a lot of things: Deep conditions, strengthens & silkens hair, reduces dryness and breakage, and adds a lustrous sheen. Big talk, right? I wanted to give it a shot. (I also bought some Hawaiian Silky 14 in 1)

The next day, I decided to dye my hair red first. I figured the Reconstructor would repair the damage from it being dyed. I sectioned off a couple locks that I wanted completely red (ish) in foil, and then put the rest in ponytail holders and kinda slathered it on the
ends.

To keep it from drying out in the 30 minute waiting period, I put an old shower cap on. When my time was up, I washed with my current favorite shampoo, and instead of applying the conditioner, I used the Reconstructor. It. Smelled. Awful. I was right about it being old, but I didn’t let the age and stink stop me, I faithfully put it throughout my hair just for you guys. 😀 No picture of that, but I have a few from right after I washed it out:

Interesting right? I don’t think my hair ever displayed a pattern like that before. (Kristin later informed me that it might have been the Kinky-Curly I used in my hair previously that made it act like that. Apparently Kinky-Curly takes a while to wash out.)

It was even more surprising when I dried it! I never get curls like this after washing out a conditioner. Always a wavy poof.

So, I styled it with a clip and bobby pins, and added a little Hawaiian Silky for moisture.

My hair got a lot of positive comments on my facebook, but because it was a little damp before I went to bed, the curls were basically ruined in the morning. 😦

Final Verdict?: I think this needs another attempt. I liked the result, but I’m not sure if it was the Kinky-Curly or the Reconstructor. So far, I can’t tell if my hair is stronger, silkier, less dry, or harder to break either. I’ll try again in a few weeks!

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