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?

This was my typical transitioning hairstyle before I started college. This is actually me at my college’s orientation. Everyday I would wake up, detangle my hair with conditioner in the shower and walk out the door dripping. I don’t remember how I came up with it, but since I didn’t know there were any online natural hair resources, trust me, I thought I was a genius. I got teased quite often, but I loved it because I had hair and lots of it! I think at this point the last time I permed was probably…I actually have no idea! Going through my facebook it’s hard to tell when I had a perm because at a certain point I almost always wore it as a wash and go or curled with rollers. Whenever I find a close up of myself where I can see my roots, they have that tell-tale sign of natural hair flat-ironed by a novice (me!).

The truth is, there wasn’t a time I remember in my life that I got perms regularly. No money, no time, or no interest, and hey I liked it better that way! Flat-ironing my hair for four hours was awful, but being chemically burned was way less appealing. I wanted to go natural since 2008, but I ruined all my progress by getting a perm a few times (maybe…3 times before I started college in 2009, and twice after) before I realized in July 2010 that I needed to get rid of the permed ends or it would be a vicious cycle of me transitioning, growing frustrated with managing the different textures, perming, watching my hair fall out, and resolving to transition again. I’m still glad I did it, and I can’t imagine going back!

Thinking back, this is why it is important to have an online community and natural friends to support you if you’re trying to give up the creamy crack. If I had had that back then, maybe I wouldn’t have given up so many times. Tell me what you think! (And scold me, if you like.)

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.

 

Hi ,:)my name is Jasmine. I’m twenty years old and have been natural since early June 2010, having had permed hair for five years prior. Having natural hair has required alot of patience, trial, and error. However I am very proud of my natural hair and excited to share my experiences with everyone.

Who would have known my next post would be about a hot oil treatment?! Haha.

Soo my hair and scalp are feeling pretty dry.  It’s time for a hot oil treatment!



This is before I started. I feel a bit yucky about my hair, I mean all the sweating I do at the gym. It’s  too soon to wash it, so I decided to co-wash with V05 -passion fruit smoothie. This stuff smells so yummy! :3

This is after rinsing out most of the V05. Not it’s time to heat the oil, and section my hair!

My hair is damp in the above picture and I sectioned it in quarters. I sprayed it with a bit more water to make it a bit damper.  This is the oil I used-Mega Care Olive oil. The bottle  is only a dollar and it was enough for one treatment. I really should stick with African’s best, because that cost a dollar or two and it’s good for eight treatments.  Anyway, I heated some water on the stove and after letting it cool some I put the bottle of oil in the water and let it heat up.  Afterwards I took it out, made the sections of my hair smaller and applied the warm oil to my hair and scalp. I massaged my hair and then!

Twisted my hair in Small/huge Bantu knots thingies. o.o My knots really suck, I’m not sure if they deserve to be called Bantu. XD  I put a plastic cap on my head and took a little walk to get my body temperature up a bit. I decided not to rinse or shampoo out the oil. I think before I went to bed I put a bit of  (Elasta QP – INTENSE fortifying hair conditioning treatment-Review coming soon! <3) on my hair.  In the morning my hair/scalp came out sooo soft and moisturized. It looked so fluffy, I wanted to jump in it. XD The Bantu knots had stretched out my hair a bit so I was also showing a bit more length. I had pictures… but yeah.. I don’t know what happened to them. >.<  I had even gotten a few compliments on my hair. ^.^

(If I find them, I’ll post them later.)

What is the purpose of a hot oil treatment ? – Basically, to condition the hair and scalp.  It brings more moisture to the hair, it gives shine and temporarily smooth split ends. As for the scalp it can help relieve dandruff and a itchy scalp.  Some people use hot as a pre-poo, it can make it easier to clean the hair/scalp and others say they put it in so their hair won’t be super dry when they are finish shampooing.  (I guess it would depend on what kind/ how much shampoo they are using. )

How-  The heat opens up the hair cuticle (Imagine skin, warm water opens the pores, it’s like that) and allows the oil to pass through the cuticle(outer layer) and enter the cortex(second layer).   I’ll try to explain the three layers of hair(quickly).  You have an outer protective later cuticle. Underneath that is the cortex, this gives your hair it’s color, strength and maybe moisture. Medulla is the center of the hair but it’s not present in everyone’s hair. The medulla is very soft but other than that nothing is really known about it. *TAKES DEEP BREATH* I felt like I was just talking fast right there. XD  Soo, the oil hydrates the hair and scalp.   I kinda forgot about the scalp. >_>I think it’s basically the same thing for the scalp. It conditions and moisturizes the scalp.

 



One of the reasons, I think this is a good treatment for naturals is that.. If I remember correctly this type of hair has problems with oils reaching all the way to the  end of the hair.This process will help the ends of your hair get the oils it needs.

What you will need:  Oil (I love olive oil for my hair!), cup or a application bottle, A plastic cap,comb

How it’s done -Heat up the oil, You can either place the oil in a microwave-safe cup or heat some water and then place the cup of oil in the heated water. (You can also heat the water up by the stove). Wet your hair(or keep it dry) and then apply the oil to your scalp(Check the temperature of the oil first, You do not want to burn your scalp!)and hair and then massage. 🙂 Now, put on your plastic cap and get under a hooded dryer, use a warm towel, jump in the shower or just let your own body heat do the work.  Leave it in for at least  30 minutes.( The longer the better.) You can leave the oil in your hair, rinse your hair, or do a light shampoo.

It’s pretty simple and easy and shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes to an hour.

So! Go and try it with your favorite hair oil!