21 January 2010

my braid [regimen].

alright, i am getting serious about these things. after having them for all of maybe half-a-week, i've already realized my "regimen" in my previous post just wasn't going to cut it. so here's the regimen i'll be sticking with, faithfully.

  • "shampoo" every 2 weeks (or as needed) with ORS herbal cleanse dry shampoo
  • spritz every morning with african royale braid sheen spray
  • have edges re-done every two weeks
  • my silk scarf is my best friend
& my goal is to make it to my birthday/spring break: March 13. from the day i got them installed until then will be 9 weeks, which is pretty good. and i think keeping up with the regimen above will definitely get me there. i need to keep it simple and take it one week at a time. even though i suppose this is my first "protective style," i can't just treat my twists any kind of way. i still need to treat them gently and care for them diligently in order to make them last.

at the same time, i will fully appreciate the time in which i only need to use two products and i don't have to worry about styling my hair everyday! ;) braids are one seriously beautiful blessing. i plan to rock these bad boys until they fall out of my HEAD. it is so entirely comforting to know that my next worry is what kind of braids i'll get for the beach in March for spring break. no worries about flat morning afros, or detangling or cowashing. i have zero desire to purchase any more hair products and i am virtually worry free. and should i be so fortunate, i might stay in braids all year!

i hope.

17 January 2010

i am so twisted.

senegalese, that is. ;]

right before i did my BC, i was in senegalese twists that weighed maybe a hundred pounds and took literally all day to finish. but i loved them! i'd always loved twists on other women and i only had senegalese maybe three times in my life. well, right after i got my twists installed, i'd gotten the bright idea to go natural and chop my hair. but, i didn't want to waste all that time and money, so i decided i would wait to chop. i only had my twists in three weeks, and even then, i would sneakily take out a few in the back and middle so no one would see.

very recently, i was going to start a personal challenge to work on styling my twa, when i found some money in my wallet and decided to hit up craigslist for a braider. i found a fabulous woman for a great price, and it took maybe 6-7 hours, which isn't bad at all, compared to the 12 hours it took me last time! they're not as dense as i thought they would be, which is fine with me, because it means less bulk and easier maintenance.

i plan to keep this in for at least 8-10 weeks (or as long as i can possibly stand). i recently picked up some braid spray. and some ORS herbal cleanse dry shampoo.

i really want these to last, so i'll "shampoo" every 7-10 days and spritz every other day (don't want any buildup). and i'm keeping my scarf on as long as possible. i'm being very careful because this is my first time being natural with braids and i'm worried about the fuzz factor, so i'm hedging carefully. i also plan to have my edges redone every 2-3 weeks (or as needed).

i really love braids - i think they're so gorgeous and low maintenance - you don't have to worry about washing, DC'ing, or styling every morning and to me, that is worth every penny. and braids/twists are so effortlessly gorgeous. once i'm out of these senegalese, i plan to get kinky twists or small individual braids. if at all possible, i'd like to spend at least a year in braids and just let my growth surprise me in between. i'm not too big on length as much as i am styling. i'm not worried about health because i do take good care of my beautiful hair, so i really want to work on styling my own hair because that is an area in which i am very weak. so, why not get braids? instant style every day! :]

i'll post some pictures up in my fotki eventually and keep updating on my progress with these braids - this is the first time i ever actually planned to take care of them. i'm still in the twa growout challenge, although i'll probably drop the silica out of laziness and not wanting my hair to grow too fast because then i'll have to pay for more braids!

so happy!

09 January 2010

[review] afroveda's PUR whipped hair gelly

aloe vera whole leaf gel, coconut oil, almond oil, herbal oil complex, vanilla essential oil.
picture was graciously provided by shae, from afroniquely you!

i've had this gel for maybe a month or so now and i have been playing with it a lot, so i've been very slowly writing this review in my mind. :)

afroveda has a sizeable following on the online community and with good reason: all natural products, great prices, and excellent customer service. aaaaand, of course, i was never interested. i don't know why, but there was nothing about the line that drew me to any of it. my first interaction came from meeting charzboss over the summer. she was kind enough to give me some of their curly pudding, which left no impression on me (hence, no review). i'd also tried their ginger butter (or something like that), and ended up giving that away. i can't really say why it is, but maybe that will change in the future. after all, hairveda was (and still is) a wildly popular brand and i've only very recently (as in this year) became interested (so interested that i am now a stan for life, hollaaa!). i suppose the same could happen with afroveda, but i don't really see that happening.

i'd decided to purchase their whipped gelly on a whim. i'd been scouring their website and being a sucker for gellys/jellys, puddings, jams, gels, etc., i'd ordered this product. a few people said they liked it, so i'd ordered it. it was right for the price, 9 dollars for 8 oz of product. if i ever repurchase this, i'll be most definitely getting the 16 oz, which is only $15, so this line obviously has great price points. shipping was agreeable, which was a miracle because companies STAY tryna get you with shipping rates, and i think turn around was two weeks. no bad at all. it also came with a little card where for each purchase you make, you get a stamp. fill the card with a certain amount of stamps, and you get a percentage off of your order - cute! (the only reason i didn't give the percentage off and number of stamps is because i don't remember.)

packing is straightforward - a white jar with a label and a clear screw-on top. now, the top is different. you flip it open! i thought that was cool, novelty-wise, but it is rather bulky. the label isn't my favorite... one thing i've noticed with afroveda is that they fail to streamline; no color scheme (there are 12 colors on the label alone), and at least four different fonts all on one label, making the packaging less than eye-pleasing. not that i mind because in the end, it's all about the performance of the product (and i leave it in a drawer), but how many times have i bought something because i liked the packaging? quite a few. the packaging is just as important, if not more, than the performance of the product, and afroveda didn't score well in that category.

according to the website, the pur whipped gelly has a light vanilla cream scent and of course, i smell everything first. the night i got it, i thought it smelled wonderful! very, very light with just a hint of vanilla (not so much cream). the scent wasn't amazingly delicious, but it was pleasant enough. i did notice that it had a bit of a tinge to the end of the scent, like a sharp, but not overpowering hit of... ingredients. i know that sounds weird, but there's an almost metallic scent at the tail end. no clue what that was about. now, this was back in early december, if not late november. i'm sniffing as i write this review and it definitely doesn't smell as good as the day i got it. not that it explicitly stinks, but like the vanilla has gone bad. i don't really know what to tell you about that, but i like weird scents, so i don't really mind it in the least.

the product has the consistency of a light pudding. not heavy at all, but stretches and elongates my curls like nobody's business. i like the consistency - smooth and creamy, without being sticky or soupy.

performance-wise, i love this gel. my shingles are amazingly defined and my finger coils are shiny and have incredible staying power (and i am a wild sleeper). whenever i used this product, i used it on freshly washed or cowashed hair, with nothing under it, which is typical for me - since my gels are natural, they typically have other moisturizing ingredients in them. now, i can't say for sure that this accounts for the crunch or not, but as my hair gets long enough to twist, i will probably use this gel over top of something. it gave my shingles a hard crunch, which i didn't mind at all. the crunch would be gone by day two after a spritz from my water bottle, so like i said, i don't mind crunch. i'm sure it's avoidable though, when layered and not used alone.

i love this gel and while i can't say whether or not it will become a staple, i know i will repurchase eventually!

ftc disclaimer: i am in no way affiliated with afroveda. i was not paid for this review and the product was purchased with my own monies.

[review] natural product: jamaican black castor oil

jamaican black castor oil

here's a natural product that i have been using even before i went natural. castor oil is pretty popular and is a staple for a lot of women - you can use it for sealing, shine, slicking your edges back, anything. i haven't been using it as much as when i first went natural, but it is one of my
holy grail staples!

jamaican black castor oil is a natural product made from some kind of nut found in the islands. i have seen someone even make their own in a fotki once, and that was pretty cool. i buy it by the bottle and it's a little more pricey than most other oils, about $12 for 8 oz, and then add to that shipping because this is something that can be hard to find locally. still, a bottle might last me about a year, depending on how much i use, so it is definitely worth it. this is a product where a little goes a very long way. the brand i use is called tropical isle, which i purchase from their ebay store.

i have never tried regular castor oil, i always buy jamaican. even though they're the "same" thing, the two oils are incredibly different. jamaican black castor oil is very thick and not quite sticky. it is a very heavy oil, so it will weigh down your hair if you use too much of it. it's a dark, warm brown and comes with a heady, smokey aroma. the scent is something that alternately pushes and pulls a lot of people - i know some women have complained of it smelling like cigarette smoke, but to me, the scent is not nearly that strong and it doesn't have staying power, so i'm not worried about the scent lingering in my hair.

regular castor oil, which you can find at most health food stores, is a completely different color - a bright yellow and is much cheaper than jamaican black castor oil. the consistency is a little thinner and i believe it is unscented. now, keep in mind i have not used "regular" castor oil, so this is info i've gleaned from other sources (women who use it). from what i understand, though, both oils function the same.

performance-wise, this oil is incredibly versatile - i used it when i was relaxed and now that i'm natural. i've added it to my conditioners for extra conditioning, it softens my hair instantly, i've used it for my edges, for shine, to define curls... there is literally nothing i wouldn't use this oil for. some women have even claimed that it has thickened their hair, but i can't really speak on that. my curls are incredibly shiny and happy and i can't wait to use this for when i wear puffs. i love the thick, dreamy consistency and i only need about a quarter size amount for anything.

as for repurchasing... whenever i can, i buy two or three bottles to stock up. i'm not sure about the shelf life, but this is one product i never want to be without.

ftc disclaimer: i am not affiliated in any way with this company. i was not paid for this review and the product was purchased with my own money.

08 January 2010

too many goodies?


alright, so i know i've been holding out on y'all with the reviews. i sorry. but i have been ordering stuff like a madwoman and i am so in love. i ordered a few more goodies from hairveda (SO many good things to say about this line) and a small stash of treasures from peaceloveandsunshine! and i have never been so excited to get something in the mail...

anyway! this weekend, i'll try to get several reviews out:
  • hairveda's sitrinillah DC
  • afroveda's pur whipped gelly
  • jamaican black castor oil
i am so excited about my hair and to update you all on what's been going on. my hair journey only gets more and more exciting... and i love it even more because my staples are most definitely beginning to take shape and they are some wonderful, amazing, delicious, stupendous, fabulous, splendiferous products!