Monday, 31 December 2012

Natural Hair Encouragement For 2013

The trouble with hair is that it is full of surprises. It doesn't matter if your hair is bone straight or extremely kinky. You can walk out of the house with perfectly done hair and return with frizz, reversion, flyaways brought on by static and the list goes on. The elements have a way of affecting our hair and those who are on a hair journey can easily get discouraged. Here are a few tips to help you keep your sanity in the new year.

1. Patience is key: When you're patient with your hair, you will be more gentle with your hair. Take a deep breath and relax before you comb, trim or detangle to avoid unnecessary breakage or hair loss. I know we are pressed for time so definitely consider sticking to two or three last minute "quick fix" hairstyles. Here's one you can try. If you're having hair growth blues, remember that others were there. I actually cut off my relaxed ends in April and was sporting an unflattering Afro. I couldn't even put my hair into a sensible looking ponytail. I managed to get through that awkward growth phase and so can you. Look at how my hair grew between the months of April and December.


2. Service your body first: We invest so much time and money on products and tools that are designed to work best for our hair to achieve certain looks and protect our hair in different weather conditions, but what if we shift our focus to what's going on inside? Our hair is part of the Integumentary system, which is composed of the skin and all of it's appendages (hair and nails). When we are unhealthy, there is a good chance that our Integumentary system is one of the first indicators. Our skin starts to look bad, and our hair and nails begin to break. This can be brought on by stress, disease, dehydration and malnutrition. You can eat three meals with a drink and still be malnourished and dehydrated so be sure to prioritize what you need over what you want. How about we resolve to focus energy into fueling our bodies with the proper nutrients, exercising more, looking at the positive things in life and getting regular check ups? There's nothing wrong with rewarding yourself with unhealthy snacks...just do it in moderation.

3. Moisturize and seal: If you are team kinky curly coily, etc. then this one applies to you. Moisturizing and sealing my hair regularly definitely helped make it softer, pliable and more manageable. Trust me when I say you will have better hair days as time goes on.

I hope this helped. I hope you all have a safe and prosperous new year with better hair days to come.
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Thursday, 15 November 2012

Fall/Winter Haircare: My Top 5 Deep Conditioners

The biting cold of winter is definitely here, and as we pull out all those cute coats and scarves, it's important to remember our delicate strands need some extra love and care as well. Deep conditioning is vital no matter what time of the year, but especially during the Fall and Winter months as the temperatures get very low and dry, which can lead to breakage, loss of moisture, and brittle strands. Here are five of my favorite deep conditioners that protect my hair from freezing temps, wind, and dryness in the air.

1. Darcy's Botanicals Deep Conditioning Mask-This mask is great in that has amazing detangling properties as well as leaving my strands smooth and incredibly moisturized even after rinsing it out. Right when I apply it I feel my hair softening up, which is very important since I detangle my curls usually once every two weeks. It leaves a great moisturizing foundation for styling my hair in protective styles as well as wash and gos.

2. Curl Junkie Beauticurls Argan and Olive Daily Hair Conditioner-Although this product is marketed as a daily/rinse out conditioner, it has such amazingly moisturizing ingredients that it actually makes a wonderful deep conditioning treatment. With Argan, Olive, and Jojoba oils, this rich and emollient conditioner effectively coats the strands, protecting them from the elements especially when some is left in the hair after detangling. Not only is this an amazing deep conditioner but it also is one of my favorite leave in conditioners as well! Check out my review on YouTube!

3. MopTop Daily Conditioner-Another gem that is not traditionally marketed as a deep conditioner is this product from MopTop. This thick creamy conditioner has a great mix of honey, aloe vera gel, proteins, and extracts to maintain the proper protein and moisture balance. And the detangling capabilities are out of this world! My hair is left strong, yet soft upon rinsing. Here's my review so that you can get a feel of the consistency and performance.

4. Shea Moisture Purification Mask-This deep conditioner is easily available and has amazing ingredients like Kaolin clay, Neem extract and coconut oil to purify and nourish the hair and scalp. We can't forget our scalp during this frosty weather, which can get dry and flaky in the dry climate. The clay helps to get rid of flakes and remove buildup from the hair as well. Link to my review on this easily accessible wonder is here.

5. Bee Mine Bee-U-Ti-Ful Moisturizing Deep Conditioner-This conditioner gives a great moisturizing base prior to styling. Helps immensely with detangling and provides exceptional moisture that lasts even as the hair is drying. Also nice as a leave in conditioner. Full review here.

Enjoy ladies and I hope this helps you find a great deep treatment to help you get through the next few months and beyond with healthy happy hair!

**~Please visit my YouTube channel for more hair fun and product reviews!
      Also feel free to come hang out on Instagram! Username: Curlypad

                                                                               

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Stretch Your Hair...With Thread?

   One of the most difficult tasks we encounter as naturals and transitioners is stretching our hair. It may be time consuming, costly or even damaging to our tresses. Although there are many options to stretch our hair, I would like to highlight one option that is arguably one of the best methods; the African Hair Threading Technique. I use this technique to get the “blow out look,” prepare my hair for flat ironing, straighten it before molding it into a certain style, and even to create a protective style with the thread.

   As a child, my mother would sit me down and stretch my hair with thread. She would use water, a pomade and regular thread that she would fortify by overlapping it. The water was to moisturize and the pomade was designed to seal. Today’s alternative would be to M&S with our favorite products. She would do intricate, traditional designs with the thread or she would just stretch it to make my hair more manageable.

   The technique is very simple. All you have to do is get a section of hair, moisturize it, seal the hair and then thread it. I use weaving thread to do this. If the section is small, then M&S a large area before you begin threading in small sections to save time. To thread the hair, you must do the following:


     1. Wrap the thread around the base of your hair approximately five times. This will secure the thread. Do not do this tightly, just enough to stretch the hair at the base.
     2. Start wrapping downward; toward the ends of your hair. You can wrap tightly of loosely.
     3. Once you get to the end, begin wrapping upwards for approximately 2-3 inches then wrap going back down so that your hair is secured. That way, your hair will unravel easily. I know that many people knot the thread, but do not knot the thread at the ends. This can cause damage during removal.


        This technique saved my life when I was transitioning to natural hair. It may not be easy to get the hang of, but practice makes perfect so put your blow dryer and hair bands down and pick up some very cheap weaving thread. Bear in mind that you should be gentle with your hair. If it hurts, you are pulling too tightly. Feel free to look at the following videos for inspiration and a closer look at the technique.  

     Transitioning Hairstyle: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQvLb9aJ2OI
     AHT ponytail with extensions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMwR7dFRnFc
     AHT band in the front and extensions in the back: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_voIASbOb2I






Monday, 15 October 2012

Fun During Fall Fro Fashion Week



This September I had the pleasure of going to the Fall Fro Fashion Week in downtown Atlanta, a Natural hair and beauty event that spawned a weekend filled with natural beauty and lifestyle workshops, lots of product shopping, and tons of natural hair schmoozing! Now in it's fourth year, the Fall Fro Fashion Week event had a theme of Glitz and Glam, complete with a red carpet that led into the the product arena where attendees could shop in an intimate setting where eight hand-selected vendors were chosen to show off there handcrafted hair and body products, jewelry, and accessories.




Some examples of the lovely vendors that there were in attendance were wonderfully whipped and heavenly scented hair and body butters created by none other than the lovely tastiredbone from YouTube! Her company, Tasti Kiss Essentials, had scents of Cherry Almond, Pineapple, Pink Sugar, and a variety of other yummy smells wafting around the arena (P.S.-She just released her I Heart Mango Butter in the Pumpkin scent for the month of October,  I had the chance to preview it, and it smells amazing and scrumptious, the perfect Fall sealant as the temperatures continue to dip!).  Also, a unique concept I have never seen at a natural hair event revolved around the company, Luxor Couture, and their unique concept of a Earring Bar, where you could make and customize your own earrings with a variety of brightly hued beads, silver, gold, and wooden accents. She had gorgeous feather earrings also that were definitely calling my name! The product junkie in me was also pleased to meet Taiza, the owner of HoneyChileHairLove, and I can't wait to try her Lush Curl Custard, Avocado Truffle Hair Milk, and the many other yummy sounding products I purchased from her in the coming weeks. 

There were also very interesting workshops that I was able to attend, such as the D.I.Y: Women Do Everything segment, that gave tips on how to change the oil in your car, how to make minor repairs around your house, and also how to check the wiring in your home, all things that could come really handy when you least expect it! There were also workshops on How to Look Great on a Budget, Protective Styling, a Blogger Luncheon, and a Curl Talk co-hosted by the owner of Jessicurl, Jessie McGuinty. All in a very informative and intimate setting, which allowed tons of insightful questions from the many beautifully coiffed naturals in attendance.

The evening of Saturday culminated in Penthouse party on the top floor of the Melia Hotel which hosted the Fro Fashion Week Event, here is a pic of us all glammed up for the event:

Although I made the long 13-hour trip back home early Sunday morning, CurlyGirlJess from YouTube filled me in on the festivities of Sunday, which included another day of shopping at the vendor's arena, a Curls Unleashed Focus Group, and the highly-anticipated Fashion Show, which showed off local fashion's from Atlanta-based designers as well as honored the eight unique and incredibly talented vendors that were in attendance.

Overall, I had a great time at the event! The best part by far was spending time with my girls, tastiredbone and CurlyGirlJess. Events like this bring women together with the common interest and love of natural hair, and foster great friendships that go beyond that! Check out the vlog CurlyGirlJess made of our adventure in ATL right here. If you haven't been to a natural hair event yet I highly encourage it, you'll have a great time meeting and mingling fellow naturals! I'm already planning my trip to the World Natural Hair Show in April 2013 :) See you next month ladies!

~*Check out my YouTube Channel: Curlypad
Links to 

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Scarlett Rocourt of Wonder Curl



Please introduce Yourself!
I’m Scarlett Rocourt, creator of Wonder Curl products for natural hair, Haitian born Jersey girl and lover of pretty things.
How long have you been natural? Did you big chop or transition?
I began my natural hair journey back in 1998. I stopped relaxing for 6 months before doing the big chop. It was the first time my hair was so short and I loved it! After a few months, I began texturizing my hair because I didn’t know what else to do with it. I wasn’t happy with the texturizer and big  chopped a second time. I started blow-drying and flat ironing my hair. My hair became straight and thin from all the heat so I big chopped a third time in June 2006. This was my last big chop and I’ve only straightened my hair a handful of times.
Tell us about Wonder Curl.
Wonder Curl is a line of natural hair products created with the needs of our natural curly hair in mind. Our hair tends to be dryer and not always have defintion or shine. The products deliver definition, softness and shine without weighing the hair down or making it feel greasy. It was paramount that Wonder Curl products work with all textures, helping each individual to achieve their desired style with minimum effort and maximum results.
What inspired the name Wonder Curl?
I was brainstorming different names for a website and Wonder Curl sounded so much fun to me. After I bought the domain name, a friend of mine out of the blue called me a ‘wonder curl’ I knew at that point that it was the right name.
There are many product lines that claim to benefit “natural” or curly hair. What makes Wonder Curl different?
Wonder Curl products only uses ingredients that serves a purpose, whether it’s to strengthen the hair like Virgin Organic Coconut oil or nourish the hair like Neem oil. Since I use the products in my hair, I want my hair to not only look & feel great, but to also grow as strong as possible. The products are also versatile meaning you can use them to achieve any style you’re going for whether it’s a twist out or a wash-n-go and they work great for all textures.
What’s in the future for Wonder Curl?
Right now, Wonder Curl is available in 5 different countries and I’m looking to expand and make Wonder Curl even more accessible to curlies everywhere!
What advice do you have for transitioners, those who are curious about natural hair, or those having difficulty embracing their natural hair?
Using Wonder Curl products helps take the guess work out of what products to use because they all work well in any hair type. If you’re transitioning, the products will help you achieve the styles to keep your hair strong while maintaining a uniform look.
Where can people connect with you?
I’m everywhere!
instagram @wondercurl
facebook @wondercurl
facebook fan page @wondercurlcom
youtube @wondercurlcom
twitter @wondercurl
pinterest @wondercurl
www.wondercurl.com
And at Curls of Joy




Saturday, 15 September 2012

How to Salvage Your Style: The Benefits of Dry Restyling


With the combination of my brassy and often dry-as the desert highlighted curls, as well as my daily walks to the metro in 90+ degree weather, there were many days this summer that my hair turned into an abundance of frizz and tangles long before I was ready to hop in the shower to restyle. Twisting, braiding, and creating cute and simple styles with the resulting braidouts and twistouts yielded some of my best hair days this summer! Whether you're returning to a busy work or school schedule, or just want to extend your style without re-wetting with winter just around the corner, here are some tips and benefits that dry restyling bring to the table.

1. Turn slowly wilting curls into a lovely set of elongated twists.
Around day 7 of my wash and go, or after a week old braidouts, instead of starting anew with the detangling process, I would dry twist my hair to not only get a few extra days out of my initial style, but to get get a slightly different look from ordinary twists. To achieve the longer, fluffier look of dry twists, some of these tips were incredibly beneficial:
  • Use small sections of hair to restyle. When dry restyling, it's important to remember that you may have several days of shed hair waiting to be unleashed  during your next detangling session, so being gentle is crucial. Work with small sections when twisting and gently remove any shed hair you may encounter. This will also ensure a smoother finish to your style.
  • Try to avoid products that are heavily water based and use creamy emollient products with a nice oil and moisture balance. I avoid spray leave ins and products with a watery consistency when dry restyling. For my curls, water plus dry hair equals frizzy, albeit moisturized curls. With products like Shea Moisture Curl and Style Milk, Curly Kinks Twist Whip, and Karen's Body Beautiful Sweet Ambrosia, I'm able to easily twist or braid my hair because the products provide slip, shine, and the perfect balance of moisture to my parched curls.
2. Turn lackluster products into styling dynamos when used on dry hair
Many products that have been lurking in my product stash that have just been blah at best on wet hair have completely wowed my when used on dry hair. My luck with the Karen's Body Beautiful completely changed when used on dry hair, not only is it a good way to use up product if you're an epic product junkie like myself, but dry styling is also a great way to find use for a product in a way you had not imagined.

3. Dry styling is actually a great way to get a jumpstart on Detangling Day, also known in my house as my Half Day Hair Date complete with washing and deep conditioning. 
When going through those sections to restyle, I notice that removing the shed hair I encounter as I move along the restyling process significantly decreases my detangling time in the shower come wash day. I am also gently loosening tangles that may have formed in between washings, so I am essentially dry finger detangling my hair as I style. Anything that helps me lessen the time it takes to take care of my hair is a must have in my regimen!

And there you have it ladies! Dry detangling is a method I haven't really utilized in the past, but now with winter coming fast and hard, my grow-out the ill-advised highlights mission, and my 60 hour work week that i'll be experiencing until November, dry restuling is going to me a must have. The bonus days of prolonging detangling day, the ability to use up my lovely product stash, the low maintenance ease of the styles, and of course the beautifully fluffy and different look it gives my hair all make dry restyling an epic win in my fun experiments with my natural hair. Check out my YouTube channel Curlypad for fun natural hair chat, and here is a video with my hair in a twistout that resulted from dry styling!! Happy hair ladies!!!
     
Pics: From Frizzy dry frazzled third day hair (1), to happy moisturized twists done on dry hair (2) to a fluffy, soft twistout that prolonged a full fledged detangling session for 8 more days (3)!! 





Friday, 31 August 2012

5 Minute Natural Hairstyle For Newbies




I’m newly natural and enjoying wearing my natural hair but sometimes, I have a bit of a problem. From time to time, my hair is simply uncompromising and I just can’t seem to style it the way I want to. I was rushing one day, and found my Five minute quick fix to my natural hair blues. It’s very straightforward and should work regardless of your hair condition. I included a video for those of you who are visual.




                                     


1.       The first thing I did was part my hair in a boomerang shape to create the part for the “faux fringe.
2.       I went ahead and pulled as much hair as I could into a banana clip so that my edges would look neat. I could only fit about half of my hair in it without it snapping open so I went ahead and pinned the rest down to create a Mohawk.
     3.       I went ahead and got the fringe part and tucked it going all the way around and back to the banana clip area; pinning it as I went.



That’s all there is to this very simple hairstyle that you can use whenever your planned hairstyle fails. I hope you found this to be useful and feel free to leave feedback and join me on my other sites where I share more on hair topics.