Saturday, January 9, 2010

Henna of the wrong color

Now I know fresh henna is supposed to be greenish. But Leprechaun green, it should not be.

As usual, I can't always find my prefered henna brands, so I will experiment and try a different one. But as soon as I opened this package, I knew it was all wrong.

First of all the color was way too bright a lime green. Second, the smell coming from the henna was oily smelling.

No way was I using this un-known product. But just out of curiosity, I decided to mix a little up to see what happened. This frightened me even more.

What the heck is in this stuff...Incredible Hulk blood??????

I did have an older package of my preferred brand and this is along the colors, I expect to see henna. Maybe a little brighter if it extremely fresh.

The owners of the store where I purchased this henna are pretty nice, so I'll take it back to them and ask some questions. I hope they will get the brand I use back in soon. Otherwise I may have to use an on-line source to be certain, I am getting 100% henna.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Working it out Fro-tastically! Can you dig it?

For Halloween, I went to a 70's party and decided I'd go as a fashionably fly sista heading to the skating rink. Now I don't know about you, but we LIVED to go skating. We went every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and any other special day during the week that might have gotten thrown in.

I turned 10 in 1980...but I spent the previous years anticipating being a teenager and being fly like my older cousins and their friends. But when the 80's rolled around, our dress changed. I was able to be cool in my neon, lace, slouching shirts, 80's gear, but it wasn't the same flyness the 70's wear held.

I was excited as I sat down making the pom-poms for my skates for the party...and I remember the days when I was younger and we'd make pom-poms to match our outfits. Boy I miss those days.

All week I'd been preparing my hair to do a fro. I had several failed attempts before. My hair won't fro like one of those beautiful Big Ass Afros from the 70's.
I definitely was not willing to do a blow out with heat to achieve it...I'd buy a fro wig first. A fellow natural told me to keep my hair stretching in twist-outs and not to wash my hair. Then the day of, us a deman on small sections and concentrate on the ends. I sprayed each section with a glycerin/water/oil mix and then brushed that section. Before you know it...I'd achieved a BAA. So fresh, so fly.
(Er..side note....I've got that shrinky-dinky hair, so the BAA morphed into a MAA...but that was ok, it was still perfectly rounded and so fresh.)

Buuuut....when I saw the tiny broken ends all over the place...I said never, never, never again. My hair will probably be mad at me for a minute. Plus I'd sprinkled purple glitter in my hair....and damn, I'm still trying to get that mess out.

Anyway. I was please with the out come, all night folks kept telling me I looked like I'd just ripped open a time portal and stepped right out of the 70's. Nothing fake looking about me. I didn't get the wear the skates...(insurance concerns by the event's host and whatnot)...but that was cool. I'd talked to him about it before so I knew the deal going in. So I spent part of the time standing posing like I was a model in Ebony or Jet from the 70's....oh how I love that decade.

Friday, June 12, 2009

I think I may be going through a mini-hair crises...all self induced

I've got the hair breakage under control and now seem to be back in balance with between my moisture and protein. My hair is doing is thang no issues.....but hold up, not so fast. I just couldn't be happy, I just have to go and play freakin' Russian Roulette with my precious naps....I flat ironed. Not a bone straight flat iron, but still applied heat to my thriving hair.

So what had happened was...{you know anytime someone says that they are telling a lie or trying to spin the tale in their favor}. Anyway, what had happened was, after the breakage, I decided I needed a good trim. I still have little trust for hair dressers, so I wanted to know what I was working with before turning my head over and asking for a trim and ending up with 3 or more inches on the ground.

I did stretch and band my hair, but I swear my hair still shrinks about 90%...ok may less, but in my mind it's 90%. For the most part, it's all good with me, I really do luv my shrinkage. I concluded that the only way for me to really get a good look was with....ugh....heat. But no way in Hell was I going to a hair dresser and allow them to put a 1000 degree straightening comb, blow dryer, flat iron, etc, in my head. And being that I no longer owned any heated hair tools, I needed to either borrow or buy one. Most folks I know have them hot as hell gold-whatchamacallits flat irons. Uh-uh not gonna happen.

So I started looking around for some to buy. Long story short after lots of research and comparison I decided on the Maxiglide. $80 frigging bucks for a flat iron...sheesh....I coulda bought some fly shoes instead.

Let the madness began. I had these things about 2 weeks, returning them to the store at least once before I was brave enough to go through with it. Made sure my hair was clarified, well conditioned, moisturized and stretched before proceeding. Used Chi Iron Guard Thermal Protection and kept the setting around 3 or 4 (3 on the front of my head with is finer and funky, sensitive acting and 4 on the thicker more robust back of my hair).

Oh...I do have to admit that I did a pretest a small section a few days before. I would rather have had a small section of hair that did not revert, than have a whole head of damaged hair.

Again, my hair was nowhere near bone straight, but it was straight enough for me to do a good examination of damage from the breakage. It was not as bad as I thought. I decided to nix the hair dresser and do my own trim. I did knock off about an inch of hair, but that just helped to eliminate more of those chemically dyed ends I've been slowing growing out.

Now here is the funny I have no longer have a clue what to do with straight or semi-straight hair in this case. Funny huh. I spent 27 years of my life with straight relaxed hair and about 2 years (if you count transitioning) not sporting straight's easy to un-learn old habits, isn't it. On the first day I wore it poofed around my head for a hot minute before, I pulled it up into a high puff like poof. That night I did flat twists and wore twist out the 2nd day. By that evening I was in the shower washing (ugh...had to use shampoo again that soon to get that thermal protectant broken down) and deep conditioning.

Whew...the hair revered into it's tiny coily nappy texture. I was in a panic that it wouldn't.

Now, I still don't advocate heat on a regular basis or at high temperatures. And I won't be subjecting mine anytime soon. (Giving that expensive ass Maxiglide to my friends daughter. She is relaxed and flat irons and won't be stopping anytime soon, but I want her to do less damage to her hair if possible. I definitely hadn't planned to spend this much on her for her birthday, but when I mentioned I was buying these she squealed and said she's been wishing for one too. Happy birthday Diva)

I was way too nervous through this whole process...a self-induced hair crisis. Will I flat iron, maybe, honestly I don't know, but it won't be anytime soon.

I will say this, it is still Russian Roulette, if you are not very very very careful, you can do some serious damage to your hair. Proceed with caution.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Back to the basics

Breakage....ugh. I started seeing shorter pieces of hair while co-washing and was like "What's up with that?" Was it just shorter hair shedding. Nope it was "BREAKAGE!" Oh snap...what have I done to my hair to start this?

So, I didn't panic. Didn't jump into starting some miracle treatment to stop the breakage.

I took a deep breadth and started to review what I'd been doing over the past few months that may be the cause (I really don't know when the breakage started) I made a list...for real y'all...I made a list of products, washing methods, any manipulations I was doing, etc.

I guess I should interject here that I am a troubleshooter by nature. My IT career surrounds troubleshooting as well. Even in my arts and crafts creations, when something doesn't go quite as troubleshooting instincts kick in.

Anyway, this is what my list looked like
Conditioners for co-washes:
Suave Humectant (frequently used)
Suave Healthy Curls (moderately used)
Suave Naturals Tropical coconut (frequently used)
Herbal Essence Hello Hydration (frequently used)
Herbal Essence Totally Twisted (frequently used)
Aussie Moist (moderately used)
Organix Coconut Milk (rarely used)
Organix Mocha Express (rarely used)
Giovanni 50/50 (moderately used)**
Yes to Cucumbers (rarely used) (new player on the block)**
Trader Joe's Nourish Spa (new player on the block)**
Pantene Curls (frequently used)

Conditioners for deep conditioning:
Caramel Treatment (rarely used)
Aubrey Organics (moderately used) (new player on the block)**
Yes to Carrots Hair Mask (rarely used) (new player on the block)**
Homemade Shea butter mix with Lustrasilk Shea Butter Cholesterol Plus

Giovanni 50/50
Trader Joe's Nourish Spa *
Liquid Castille soap mixed with Suave tropical coconut *

Bentonite Clay *
Ayurvedic Tea (Aritha, Alma and Shikakai) (rarely used)

Kinky Curly Custard (moderately used)
Knot Today (moderately used)

Homemade shea butter treatment (moderately used)
Homeade leave in (frequently used)
Shea's Curly Pudding (homemade product)(Frequently used)**

Henna treatments (monthly) *

Manipulations etc:
Shower detangling
nightly twisting *
HIF disease....not as bad as it used to be, but it's still there
Washing hair loose
Sleeping with hair loose

Previously chemically dyed hair....however the breakage is much further down the shaft the dyed ends. (Note: no split ends either, so that doesn't seem to be a factor)

(Frequently = more than 3 times a week)
(Moderately = 1 to 3 times a week)
(Rarely = less than once a week, usually once every two weeks or even less than that)

The '*' and '**' items are the first ones I started with since they were pretty new to my routines.

These were on the top of my list to address first.
1. Protein conditioners
2. Nightly twisiting
3. Henna treatments

1. I decided to reduce the number of conditions with protein products for the time being. I stopped using the Organix, Giovanni, Trader Joe's, Yes to Cucumbers and Tomatoes and the Aubrey's Organics.

2. To avoid those single strand knots that plague tightly coiled hair, I decided to do large twists at night to reduced the amount of knotting. This is far more manipulation than I've done since going natural.

3. Henna treatments. Since it's a protein itself, I'm already treading a thing line of having a protein overload. I'd been doing these monthly with no adverse affects. However one month I hennaed and then did a bentonite clay treatment 2 or 3 weeks later.

My breakage has stopped. I am not sure of the exact cause, however I am leaning towards doing that henna and bentonite clay treatment so close together plus the over use of protein heavy conditioners.

I will slowly re-introduce those things I eliminated. Actually, I don't expect the breakage to re-occur. But if it does, hopefully I will be able to better pinpoint what went wrong.

My point in posting this long blog entry. Well it is documentation for myself, but to also let folks know that when you have a hair crisis....don't jump in and start adding other products in that may make the problems worse. Slow down, review what you've been doing and start eliminating things first to see if the problem goes away.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Bye, bye dry hair.

I've had to cut off about 1 1/2 to 2 inches of hair due to dryness from the permanent dye I used back in April. Yep, dryness. I know in an earlier post, I said I didn't have any problems with dryness after dying my hair. the weeks passed by, my ends were feeling funkier and funkier. I did try a little dusting, but farther up the hair shaft felt gross. And when I compared the dyed hair to the newly growing un-dyed hair, there was a big difference. You can see the difference as clear as day in this picture.

I knew I had to cut my hair, there was no other healthy way to fix the ends. The question was, how much do I cut. I'm not overly obsessed with length, but I really didn't want to do a BC all over again. so in December, I decided to cut half of the dyed part off and then cut the rest off later.

My hair feels so much better now. I've got about another 1 to 1 1/2 inches of dyed hair that need to go. I'm thinking I'll free myself of those around April or May.

I'm so glad I learned this lesson early on. My hair does not like the harshness of chemical dyes. Didn't like it when it was relaxed either.

So now, I'm a henna fiend. And I learned from other naturals to use coffee or espresso tone down the harsh brassy orange my gray hairs turn. I'm loving the color of my gray now. The henna has put this protective coating around my strands and my hair looks so much thicker....loving it!

No words needed...I'm still deeply addicted

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Um....I think this becoming a shoe blog

Courtesy of sitting and browsing Modista for hours.

I am so in love.
Hotness in a boot. I "WANT" these!

And these are uber "SEXY". Yup I want them too.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Ok...I just passed out cold when I saw this website.


OMG....this is shoe lovers paradise. Be'll get a head rush as you flip through the pages and pages and pages of shoes. Coolest part, you can sort by type, color, brand, price and hell even by discount that's what I'm talking about.

You need a hand bag to go with those shoes...hello pop on over to that section.

Oh yea, there are kids and mens shoes to.

Ok...some of the initial rush has worn off....diving back in for more shoe pleasure.

See ya!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Let's all please have a moment of silence for the death of "cool and sexy"

I must take a moment and deviate from my usual conditioner and now and then shoe ramblings to mourn the death of "cool and sexy".

During the mid-80s I fell madly in a movie theater. With who you ask?

There I was rockin' to the beat with everyone else in the Southbrook Mall's theater at the new release Krush Groove (many many months after it was originally released) But this was an exciting time for us. It wasn't often that the South got such a vivid view of hip-hop. This was pre- Yo MTV Raps, so most of the visions we had of hip hop artists were limited to album and cassette covers....yup albums and cassettes. (And if you have only ever seen CDs in your life...get off my blog youngin' LOL!)

Anyway in the mist of all the rocking and dancing, the images on the screen took on a new life for me. The man of my dreams burst onto the screen in a blueish gray Kangol and shirt. Oh chile, I was done. Who was this man that done ran away with my tender heart...none other than LL Cool J himself. And for those of you that don't remember cause that Alzheimer's is actin' up or you are too young to remember ( you shouldn't be here anyway, I told you to get out earlier), this is when I first met and fell in love with LL.

Um, um, um...over the years I fell deeper and deeper in love with those dimples and luscious lip that he's always licking. Whoo...hello...somebody get me a fan. My walls...can't remember what color there were, were a shrine to the fabulous, luscious, gorgeous, fine LL Cool J. I died and went to heaven when he released "I Need Love". I even loved him in later years when he made it cool and sexy for the fellas to walk around with one leg of their jogging pants pulled up (now in hind site...I can't believe how stupid that looks.)

And good Lawd, as the boy has matured into a man, full of luscious rippling muscles...whew, my fantasies of him escalated. Hey where is that fan I asked for...and bring me some water too.

But alas...all that sex appeal and coolness has now come to it's death and I must morn. But LL is still alive you say. How could I be mourning him? Well the LL I know and love has passed on to a better place. Left behind...{sob} a old ass Sears 1970's polyester smelling, Old Spice wearing representative.

WHY LL! WHYYYYYY! You can't represent sexy and cool if you are the spokesman for Sears and Old Spice. I was just getting over the shock of the Sears thing. You can not exude any nuance of cool with a Sears logo behind you...just ain't gonna way, no how. Shoot he might as well put on a polyester leisure suit, cause when I see him now, I automatically smell Poly-es-ter...that 1970's version. Y'all know it had it's own distinct smell. But I guess he decided to cover up the smell...with what...OLD SPICE. Come the hell on LL, just cause they put the name Swagger on it don't hide the fact that it's Old Spice. When I saw the commercial...I thought it was an opening punch line to a Saturday Night Live skit. I jumped on the web and went to the Old Spice website and saw the same damned commercial. Umph, umph, far the mighty have fallen.

Whoo Lawd, y'all my heart is so broken. I know, I know, some say, baby boy had got to make his change...but I say he should get some stripper gear and go on the road. The ladies will pay well to see LL in nothing but a Kangol shaking his thang on the stage. But you can count me out of that group now...cause all I can smell is polyester and Old Spice every time I think of him. Not sexy at all.

Please excuse me now. I have to go lie down. This burden is very heavy on my heart. I'm not sure I'll be able to get over it. He was my first real love after all.

Me and my curl activator phobia....

Ok, you can stop laughing now....really I mean you can stop laughing. I know, you probably have the same vision I have when you think of curl activator. You see this too don't you:

A recent post over on NP made me think about activator and my fear of it again. When I first went nappy, I was on a quest to make my coils pop and stay super moist. Lots of Nappys use activator (my Mom included) to achieve curl/coil pop-age and/or moisture. Soooo....I bought this little container. But it has been sitting in my cabinet for months un-touched.

Earlier in the summer I was going to try to venture into actually using the activator. I was in the bathroom one day trying to psyche myself up to put some in my hair. I stuck my hand in the jar and as soon as my fingers touched the cold, wet almost slimy surface....WHOOSH! I was swept back to the 80's begging my Mom not to make me get a "Scary curl". I had to be the only person in Memphis and the surrounding 200 miles that hated them with a passion. I know, I don't believe me for the sheer fact that I grew up in Memphis and even the dogs had drip drip Jheri Curls. I never had one, never wanted one. Thankfully, she didn't force me down that path. But to this day, I still hate them and the activator associated with that scary time the fact the Memphis still has not quite let go of the Curl, so every time I go home, I run into someone that makes me re-live the nightmare. (Now, I must say, you Nashvillians can't snicker at all....I've run into quite a few Curls here too...from the drip drip ones to the dry crusty brittle I wouldn't point any fingers if I were you.)

Anyway, I don't know what it is, but whenever I think about using some activator, I have visions of going to someone's home to visit and when I go to sit down they says "Hold up, let me get a towel. I don't want your greasy ass curl messing up my couch." {shivers}

I'd say my fear of activators is up there with my fear of spiders....and if you know me, you know what it's like for me and a spider to be within 10 feet of each other.

I don't think I'll ever be brave enough to venture in to the curl activator world. I probably should just get rid of the jar I have so I can stop having Jheri Curl flashbacks.

But just in case you need another reason to be scared of activator...remember this:

You would have thought we were on fire with all the wailing and screaming we did after we saw this. This was back in the day when I was still a huge MJ fan. Oh come on you know you were feeling the gloved one then too. I loved him up until the point he became some weird looking creature that even Mama Katherine could no longer recognize.