Happy Thanksgiving!

Hey all, I am a bit late, but I hope you all enjoyed your holiday!

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African Royale BRX Braid & Extension Sheen Spray – Review

I use my own concoction to moisturize my braids, but staying with family I came across African Royale BRX Braid Sheen Spray, so I gave it a try.  I have always wanted to use braid spray, but never got around to buying one, I don’t wear braids too often, so I suppose that is why.

I sprayed my braids, and made sure to do the full length, and then sprayed my scalp.

It smells nice but literally 5 minutes later, my scalp was itching like crazy! I can’t scratch my scalp, so I’ve been doing the ‘Pat My Weave’ dance. It does not itch as much since a few hours have passed, but I am quite disappointed. I had high hopes for this braid spray, especially since it was my first time using this product. I must be allergic to one of the ingredients, I am not sure which.


Ingredients:
Deionized Water , Glycerin , Propylene Glycol , PPG-12-PEG-50 Lanolin , Dicetyldimonium Chloride , Polyquaternium 32 & Paraffinum Liquidum , Tea Tree (Melaleuca Alternifolia) Leaf Oil , Polysorbate 80 , Oat (Avena Sativa) Kernel Extract , Allantoin , Silk Amino Acids , Sheep Sorrell , Yarrow , Slippery Elm Bark , Sage , Henna , Comfrey , Burdock Root , Goldenseal , Cherry Bark , Ginseng , Black Walnut , Chamomile , Alfalfa , Hyssop , Wheat Germ , Methyl & Propyl Paraben , Fragrance

The spray smells lovely, but I find that it dries very quickly, so I am not sure how moisturized my braids are. Either way, I cannot use it on my scalp. I am going to try to pay attention to the ingredients in this spray, to see if any other products I have contains any of the ingredients and see how my scalp reacts.

Sadly enough trial and error are the only way to see how well your hair will react to a product, luckily for me, I did not have to purchase this spraIy. So if you can try sample sizes, or travel sizes when trying a new product, I suggest doing so. It can save you some money!
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As far as moisturizing goes, my hair does not feel any better or worse than it did before I sprayed them with this product, I cannot speak for my scalp, since I had an allergic reaction, so even with only one use, this product did not do it for me.

I guess I can give it a 2 out of 5, just because I like the way it smells!

Yarn Braids-Results

Hey guys!

After a grueling 20 hours (I’m a slow braider) I am finished! (Of course with breaks here and there.)

To my surprise, I only used about half or a 3/4 of one spool of yarn! There is still a good chunk left over, and I actually did the braids smaller than I originally intended.

My parts are not the best, but I would say I did pretty well for a first timer!

 I will admit, I did encounter some knots, my fault though, I did not moisturize properly, and started yanking the yarn out to redo some braids. I did not have to cut much knots out, maybe 3-4 strands, but I am hoping that the length grows back by the time I take them out.  After moisturizing, and combing through each strand properly, I did not encounter any more knots. Thank goodness!

I am not exactly sure how I will upkeep them. I plan on washing at least bi-weekly, and maybe baggy (baggying is when you apply an oil or moisturizer, and use a plastic cap, shower cap, or plastic bag over your entire head, or ponytail, for a couple of hours or overnight to lock moisture into your hair) in place of deep conditioning. I have not quite figured it out yet. I plan on keeping these in for at least a month, so I will have to develop some kind of regimen. I will keep you guys posted on that one.

Anyway, I just wanted to share my results with you all!

Until Next Time, Naomi~

Yarn Braid Prep

I know it has a bit since my last post, but I have been prepping my hair for Yarn Braids (similar to Individual/Box Braids, the only difference is instead of hair, yarn is used). So I have been getting my final Cayenne Pepper Treatments while my scalp is free.

This will be my first time wearing/installing them.

Today I have both a hard protein treatment, and moisturizing deep conditioner. (you should always follow hard protein treatments by a moisturizing deep conditioner, as you want the hair to have balance, and not tangle or break)

Now on to the yarn…

My Tools:

A Chair- To wrap yarn around base, to make sure yarn is cut evenly
Hair Shears- To cut yarn
Shea Butter- In case hair feels dry
Lighter- To burn ends of yarn to secure
Comb- To make parts

Those are all you need really. At least it is enough for me.

I purchased two spools of yarn from Wal-Mart. Red Heart brand for $2.33 and  the lighter from my local supermarket for $1.49 USD. So overall, this style costs less than $6.00 bucks (without tax).

I have already moisturized and sealed my hair, I braided my hair into six plaits, to stretch my hair since I had to go out. It was not dry by the time I got home, so I blow dried my hair by each plait/section.

My hair blow dried.

I wrapped the yarn along the legs of my chair, to make sure to cut evenly, I say they are about 16 inch ‘strands’.

Here’s how it looks wrapped

Here’s how it looks cut

I am starting to braid tonight, we’ll see how long it takes to finish. Wish me luck!

Until Next Time, Naomi~

Cayenne Pepper + Shower Cap= Steam

 As you all know, I have been using ‘Cayenne Treatments’ to aide growing back hair on my bald areas. It really on consists of water and ground cayenne pepper. All I do is apply it to my bald spots, and throw on a shower cap, and let it sit on my scalp for a few hours.

I make sure that it has a pate like consistency, as it is easier to apply and does not drip.

The past few times while doing my treatment, I noticed condensation on the inside of my shower cap. Similar to what happens to your mirrors in the bathroom while taking a hot shower.

Maybe it is the heat my scalp is giving off from the cayenne pepper being on it, as cayenne pepper helps with blood flow. So I’m thinking that is what causes the steam.

It is not immediate, it happens over a couple of hours, I am sure because, hot air is being trapped. I cannot tell if it does anything for my hair, as I usually prepoo overnight, and do the treatment the following day before shampooing.

It still is pretty cool. Here’s a pic.

Not a very clear pic, but it looks kind of foggy under there. Either way, my hair is always super soft after doing my treatment (prior to prepooing).

Steaming your hair helps soften and restore moisture back into your hair. You can do a makeshift steaming, putting a plastic cap on your head, and  wrapping hot towels around , I have heard turbie twist towels are good for that. Or you can invest in a hair steamer.

Just wanted to share.

Until Next Time, Naomi~

(Finger) Coil Out Results

As promised, I am back with pics of the results of my (Finger) Coil Out. I did not use an product, just used my fingers to pull the coils apart, and threw on a headband.

I am pleased with the results, so I’ll be adding this style to my repertoire! I actually find that the curl definition I got with this coil out is similar to two strand twist out curls. If you do smaller twists as I tend to do.

I only wore this coil out for a day, since I had to cowash (itchy scalp), but I am sure this style can last 2-3 days, perhaps more depending on how you care for it.

Although my hair type is 4a, I am sure 4b’s and 3’s can try this style too, since it requires you to use a curl defining product (gel, hair puddings, etc)

Anyway, just wanted to share, hope you guys like it, and try it for yourself! Comment and Subscribe!

Until Next Time, Naomi ~

New Low Manipulation Style: Finger Coils!

Yesterday I went through my normal wash day routine.

I have a couple of different brands I use,  but I ended up using Suave Naturals Tropical Coconut  to wash, cowash. 

I of course prepooed overnight, with coconut oil, after putting my hair plaits. I was able to do so did so overnight by using saran wrap. I made sure to put on my satin scarf and bonnet for good measure.

I made my own deep conditioner mix, using oils mixed with the Suave conditoner, and oiled scalp with JBCO/Castor Oil mix. I am out of leave in, so also used the same conditioner as leave in and sealed with coconut oil.

Now here came the hard part, deciding on whether to do a Low Manipulation (a style that requires little maintenance/does not need to be combed or redone. ie. Bantu Knot Outs, Braid/Twist Outs, Rod/Rollersets, etc.) …… or Protective (styling that ‘hides’ your ends. These styles help retain length because your ends are not able to rub against clothing are are not subjected to the elements)

There are my go to hair styles , but I like to try something new every once in a while to switch it up.

So I eventually decided on low manipulation.

 Playing in my hair I realized that it can coil around itself resembling a curl. So I decided, ‘why not try to do that to my whole head’?!

 I have products on my shelf that I rarely used, so I picked one of those to do my finger coils with, Redken Curlwise 14. It is a free sample I had received a while ago, and I have used it to do two strand twists, so I knew it would be okay to use.
Especially since this product is ‘meant’ to define curls.

This style was relatively simple to do, all I had to do is put a bit of product on my finger tip, and ‘twirl’ the hair around my finger.

I am sure you can use regular gel like Eco Styler brand, or your preferred gel or even a lock and twist gel like Organic Root Stimulator brand or something similar. I think anything product made to define curls would do.

Here are the results

It is a simple style, only took about an hour (if that) to install. It depends on how big or small your finger coils are. I like it so far, it kind of gives me the locked hair look, without the commitment.

Finger coils can start to lock (which is great if you are looking for, duck bill metal clips, may also be of help.) if kept in too long, so I plan to pull them apart tomorrow. Hopefully it will result in cute curls! *crossing fingers*

Will keep you guys posted on that one.  Anyway I just wanted to share.

Until Next Time! Naomi~

Retaining Length for 2011!

Not too long ago, I accomplished my short term goal of reaching full SL (shoulder length) by my 1 year natural anniversary.

Now I am on to my next goal….reaching APL (arm pit length). I have heard that SL to APL takes the longest! Of course I cannot contest to this, as I have not reached APL, but it is something frequently said in the forums I am part of..

Keeping that in mind, I plan on reaching my goal by retaining all of new growth/length I accumulate throughout the year. The best way to retain length is by doing protective styles. Protective styles insure you ends being protected.

Now your ends is not where growth occurs, it happens at the root, but it is how we are able to see length. Your ends are the oldest and most fragile part of your hair, so if anything occurs like splits, or single strand knots, it is your ends that has to be dusted or trimmed. Meaning you will loose some length. This is not such a horrible thing, as it is better to have healthy shorter hair, then long hair with frazzled ends.

You want your hair to not only be long, but also to be healthy! Once you figure out how to keep your hair healthy, retaining length will be a piece of cake!

Everyone’s hair grows at different rates, but hair growth can range between 0.25-1 inch a month. It also has to do your diet/health, and how well you care for your hair. Genetics also does play a part, as well.

I would say I am about 4 inches away from my goal. I average half an inch of growth each month, so I’m hoping to retain it all and make my goal of APL within 8 months, but to be fair, (as my hair may not grow a lot one month, or grow more another. It is good to set realistic goals, as to not disappoint  or discourage yourself.) I know that I have stated that I would like to make my goal by June, but I will give myself until December of 2011.

 (December 2011 is also my goal date for my  bald spots to be filled.)

I am going to try to do a lot of protective styling this winter, like pony tails and buns, and maybe two strand twists and box braids. As protective styling is the best way to retain growth, because it is not being manipulated.

I can still do low manipulation styling because since I am natural, I get a lot of shrinkage. So my hair in it’s natural state does not reach my shoulders. My unstretched hair  looks CL (Chin Length), sometimes NL (neck length) and that is on a good day.

I am hoping to be SL unstretched one day too.

I set goals as a way of motivating myself, and to keep up with my regimen. Plus it makes it fun!

For hair acronyms, or abbreviations and hair charts, check out  previous post

I hope this gives you an idea of ways to retain length!

Until Next Time, Naomi~

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