Monthly Archives: September 2010

I’m still truckin along…

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I’m still in it for the long haul. Just incase any of you were wondering. I get so many complements on my hair styles, it is ridiculous! I didn’t really realize how many people love natural hair. It is so beautiful and unique. No two hair styles are alike and you stand out no matter what.

I made my hair appointment for October 22, 2010 that will mark the beginning of my 4th month of transitioning. I am still unsure of what will happen on that day. Originally I planned to transition a complete year before making the big chop, however now that I am starting to see and feel my curls, I can’t wait to see what it will look like. I’ve never had a TWA before and the only thing bad about getting one now would be the fact that it is getting cold outside. 

My stylist is one that I trust completely (so that is awesome) and I know that she will advise me on the best option for my hair.

Here is what I am suggesting:

  1. Cut off the same amount of permed hair as the hair that has grown (new growth). In other words if I have 3 inches of new growth, I need to cut off 3 inches of permed hair.
  2. Only cut the dead ends (I don’t have any split ends surprisingly) and just let it all continue to grow unless I start to see major breakage-which I haven’t seen yet.
  3. Go ahead and do the BC!!

I know many of you might be shouting “BC! BC! BC!!!” I don’t know, we will see. I haven’t ruled any one thing out at this point and today I’m up for anything. Tomorrow might not be the same! I don’t want to have any regrets in this process. I want to go at my own pace, as all transitioners should. I’m having so much fun learning about my hair and testing new products and trying new things.

Well, anyways! I’m happy to have begun my third month of transitioning. I am not turning back! I am too happy to be nappturally njoyable! :O)

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Dear Transitioner,

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If this is your first day transitioning or if you have been transitioning a year, just know that I applaud you in your adventure. There are so many different phases that you go through during this period. From getting to know your hair type, the hair products, the hair regimens, the hair styles and the list can go on and on.
It gets difficult at times, but I have found that the ultimate key is to always rock it like you own it…because you do!
Your hair needs your patience and I believe this adventure creates in you a new person. A new being. Getting to know your locks is like getting to know yourself all over again. For some of us it may take two months and for others it may take two years. Once you are ready to let go…there is freedom on the other side. Don’t do it because your girl is doing it or because you feel like it is a fashion trend. Do it because you are ready to make that change. Do it because you are ready to be YOU! If you are doing this for some other reason other than to make yourself happy, you won’t be able to withstand some of the criticism that comes along with it. Some of the stares, some of the questions and some of the noses that turn up at the mere sight of your “nappy hair”.
As you transition you get to know that all hair is “good hair” your hair is fabulous just the way it is~let no one tell you different!

And if they do, they might just be jealous that they don’t have the guts to do the same. They may envy the versatility of your hair. But don’t you turn your nose up too because it may be that they are not educated and they just don’t understand what you have come to realize. That your hair is not nappy but it is healthy. It is strong. It is fragile. It is thick. It is b YOU t FULL!

Full of life

Full of strength

Full of courage

Full of health

Full of nourishment

And last but not least to you, the transitioner; when all else fails, don’t give up! I know that sometimes it gets to a point where you feel like you can’t stand the two textures in your hair or perhaps you are experiencing scabbing or breakage and you haven’t got to the point where you are ready to BC…take your time. Re-evaluate.  Be patient. Breathe. Don’t succumb to the creamy crack or the flat-iron. Remember why you decided to  take this adventure and keep going. If you haven’t already, start a journal (written or online) it helps to watch your progress. Don’t be pressured by others to take the plunge to BC if you are not ready. As a transitioner, you are in the middle and you hear from both sides “Chop it off”  from the naturals and “girl, get a perm” from the straights.

This is where you take a moment, think about it and do what’s best for you! If you decide to to tuff it out and continue the transition, GREAT! If you decide to chop, FABULOUS! If you decide to get that creamy crack, DON’T WORRY YOU’LL BE BACK!

Sista to sista, it’s all good no matter what. Transistioning is a tough place to be and believe me the only way to survive is one day at a time!

This is a time to get to know yourself! Become your self! Then BE YOURSELF!

N.Joy 🙂

What to do Pre-Poo

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Moptop Maven is the shit! I absolutely love her blog and if you haven’t heard of her or checked her out, you don’t know what you’re missing. This chica is full of great tips-not limited to hair. You can find style, food, health and just every day living advice from her. I can’t go a day without checking out her blog.

Anyhow…I have been trying to figure out ways to pre-condition my hair. Read below and you will find out why adding a pre-poo step in your regimen can be beneficial to your hair and you can see the products that she uses for her pre-poo. For my pre-poo, I used coconut oil, jojoba oil and giovanni conditoner. I will do an update video on how it turned out. Meanwhile, check out her video and her blog! It’s awesome!!!

Here’s a overview on how adding a pre-poo step in your regimen can be beneficial to your hair;

Simply put, using shampoo [especially shampoo’s formulated with sulfates] strips the hair of it’s natural oils [sebum]. Sebum is very important because it plays a vital role in protecting the protein structure of the hair. Doing a Pre-Poo/Pre-Shampoo Treatment preps the hair by adding moisture, therefore minimizing [in most cases eliminating] the harsh effects of shampoo. 

I used the following products in my video:
Vatika Coconut Oil [this stuff is AMAZING; actually it is better than amazing]
Navratna Oil [This is an Indian Oil I purchased from Pioneer Cash & Carry in Artesia Ca; You can sub your favorite oil if you can’t find this one]
Lustrasilk Shea & Mango Butter Conditioner
Here’s a overview on how adding a pre-poo step in your regimen can be beneficial to your hair;

Simply put, using shampoo [especially shampoo’s formulated with sulfates] strips the hair of it’s natural oils [sebum]. Sebum is very important because it plays a vital role in protecting the protein structure of the hair. Doing a Pre-Poo/Pre-Shampoo Treatment preps the hair by adding moisture, therefore minimizing [in most cases eliminating] the harsh effects of shampoo. 

I used the following products in my video:
Vatika Coconut Oil [this stuff is AMAZING; actually it is better than amazing]
Navratna Oil [This is an Indian Oil I purchased from Pioneer Cash & Carry in Artesia Ca; You can sub your favorite oil if you can’t find this one]
Lustrasilk Shea & Mango Butter Conditioner
 

Still Going Strong! What I’ve Noticed thus far

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  1. Most importantly my hair is healthy! Not only have I noticed, but others have noticed as well
  2. No split ends! I have been transitioning for almost 3 months now, but the last time I got my hair trimmed was over 4 months ago and I usually get my ends trimmed whenever I would get my hair permed. You could tell I needed the trim because I had split ends everywhere.
  3. My hair isn’t falling out everywhere! Every time I would sweep my bathroom floor there would be hair all over the place. My hair would shed like a cat in the summertime. CRAZY! Aside from the hair that comes out while de-tangling, I have no other shedding going on.
  4. Which brings me to thicker hair! Boy my hair is thick! When I first started this process I called my mom and asked her if she remembers what my hair was like before I permed it and she replied “ooh girl you had some thick hair!” I’m finding that out!
  5. I don’t have that cute curly texture that I was hoping for (3a) but I’m learning that my hair doesn’t have to have all of the silky fine curls to be beautiful, it just has to be healthy!
  6. I have scab hair around the edges, but I’m working through it by adding more moisture in that area.
  7. Everyday is an ok hair day, as long as you work with your hair and not against it! Making your hair do what it doesn’t want to do is like rubbing a dogs hair forward when it is supposed to go backwards…a whole bunch of unruliness!
  8. The perm was the culprit!!! My hair had started to thin and fall out around the edges, I thought my hair was going bald in those areas! NO BUDDY! That creamy crack was taking my hair out because it is growing like a weed in those areas!
  9. My hair loves moisture!
  10. Gentleness is key! All of that brushing and combing and pulling and curling my hair was killing it softly! Treating my hair with care has proved to go a long way so far. It has grown 2 inches in 2 months…I think that says a lot alone!

Give Your Scalp a Good Scrub!

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Scrubbing your hair does wonders for your scalp.  It’s another something you should add to your regimen at least once a week. There are so many benefits to doing a scrub which include:

  • Helps remove dead skin cells
  • Gets the blood flowing which promotes hair growth
  • Removes excess oils and impurities
  • It feels really good 🙂  A massage for your hair is always wonderful

I ran across a website with so many great natural recipes for hair scrubs. Depending on what you are looking to accomplish you can find the recipe that is right for you.

This is my favorite:

Basic Scalp Scrub Recipe
Ingredients:
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2-3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar

Directions:
In a small bowl mix ingredients. Add enough sugar to make a thin paste Do not heat the oil as this will melt the sugar.

To Use: Wet hair in shower.If you have styling products in hair, apply a little conditioner to make hair more pliable, rinse. Take a heaping scoop of the scrub and apply to scalp, separating hair to reach entire scalp. In circular motion, scrub the scalp with the mixture for 5 minutes. Rinse well, then shampoo and condition hair as normal.

Choose what will work for you and experiment with other scrubs based on your knowledge of essential and carrier oils! Happy scrubbing!

N.Joy 🙂

MAY I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE?! I have located some curls!!!

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First Curl

I washed my hair last night and tied it up. When I took my head-scarf off this morning I saw my first curl pattern! Can you say excited! I had to give it a little bit of sheen before taking the picture! I like to shine :o)

Mixing it up: Essential and Carrier Oils

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When I read through blogs and watched vlogs I find that a lot of people show their natural hair recipes for condtioning and moisturizing the hair and the scalp.  However, I had a hard time trying to figure out what made someone choose one oil over another.  Sometimes there was an explaination…other times there was none. And by golly what is the obsession over this JOJOBA (pronounced \hə-ˈhō-bə\ OIL? How in the world do you know what oils to mix so that they will make the perfect combination for a fab hair product? Oh…the question and the answers keep a comin everyday with the natural hair adventure…but hey, that’s what make it so great!

Here’s a quickie for you newbies (like me) who want to know a little more about what these oils do for your hair.

First off there are two types of oils:

  • Essential oils and carrier oils. Essential oils are fragrant oils that are actually the concentrated essence of the plant. Essential oils are light and do not feel like an oil, but they also evaporate quickly. Essential oils are usually added to a carrier oil to be applied to the hair.
  • are oily in texture and can be oil from a seed, fruit, vegetable or nut. Different oils present different opportunities for the hair to be nourished with the unique nutrients present in each. They help to moisturize dry hair.
  • Basil: Oily hair. Promotes hair growth (essential)
  • Chamomile: Fine to normal hair.Gives golden highlights (essential)
  • Rose: Sooths scalp (essential)
  • Rosemary: Oily hair. Treatment for dandruff and promotes hair growth (essential)
  • Peppermint: Dry hair. Promotes hair growth. Reduces itching and irritation (essential)
  • Avocado/Avocado Oil: Way to get multiple nutrients into your hair and promote hair growth (carrier)
  • Castor Seed Oil: Vegetable humectant (meaning it holds on to water molecules) and  has antibacterial properties for a clean scalp which promotes growth and added thickness in places where hair is starting to thin (carrier)
  • Jojoba Oil: Great for damaged ends (carrier)
  • EVOO (xtra virgin olive oil): Great pre-conditioning and good for a hot oil treatment which gives soft, smooth and strong hair results (carrier)
  • Tea Tree Oil: Treatment for dry scalp and dandruff anti-fungal properties (essential)
  • Honey: A sweet treat for the hair. A humectant and when mixed with another oil (EVOO) and heated can make the hair shine.
  • Shea Butter: Is a fatty acid reduces the amount of water lost in the hair. This is why it is known as a sealant. It helps keep the moisture in. (carrier)
  • Coconut Oil; Also helps keep moisture in the hair
  • Aloe Juice/Oil: Ads moisture to the hair and it is absorbed into the hair strands (carrier)
  • Grapefruit Oil: Promotes hair growth (essential)
  • Vegetable Glycerin: Attracts water to itself aids in holding in moisture. Combine with water or aloe juice for a nice spritz
  • Almond Oil: Full of vitamin E, sweet almond oil is good for aiding dandruff, falling hair, strengthens hair and smooths hair cuticles (carrier)
  • Grape seed Oil: Adds shine and moisture to your hair rich in vitamins (carrier)

Get your complete list of carrier oils

Get your complete list of essential oils

When making your own oil conditioning treatment use 4 tablespoons of carrier oil per drop of essential oil for a strongly aromatic blend when mixing your own oil conditioner recipe. To make a hot oil treatment, mix your oils and place them in a plastic container or bag. Place in hot tap water for one minute. After normal shampooing, coat your hair with the oil and let it set for 5 – 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water, then cool water. Repeat to treat severely damaged hair.

Really hope this helps you with choosing the right oils and trying to figure out your own hair conditioners and mixtures 🙂

N.Joy 🙂

Hair Regimen…and the Saga Continues

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I am still trying to figure out the best hair regimen for me. I know this has been a topic of discussion plenty of times since I have started transitioning, but it is the toughest thing to do….figuring out what products are best for your hair and where to draw the line with buying too much.  Now, some of you out there are product junkies and I’m not knocking you. Some of us, can’t be product junkies. I don’t like the clutter! I’d rather try to do research and figure out the best products for me to try and go from there.

The key is to start off with your four basic steps:

  1. Cleanse
  2. Condition/Detangle
  3. Moisturize
  4. Seal
  5. Deep Condition

If you are having trouble trying to figure out what your hair regimen should be, don’t feel alone. Try, try again and when you get to know your hair you will soon figure it out.  Just know that as the seasons change, so will your regimen.  I know as soon as I figure out what works for me, I will have to change it up for the winter (which is right around the corner) but I’m prepared for that and hopefully by then I will know enough about what the essential ingredients do for your hair and how they operate in mine, that I will have an idea of the direction I should turn when trying to re-create the wheel.

Here is some great advice on how you can come up with your own regimen! And if you haven’t already, become a member of naturallycurly.com.  Lots of great advice there!

NJoy 🙂