The Process of Straightening My Natural Hair...

Well here is the video I promised to record once I straightened my natural hair to show the length I have retained using lace wigs as my protective style of choice for 2010.  I apologize if the video is of poor quality but I am still working on a permanent setting to record my videos but I am working with this for now.  This video was recorded on 12/24/10.

I shampooed and conditioned with Giovanni Smooth As Silk Deeper Moisture, then I deep conditioned my hair overnight with Pantene Pro V Frizz Down Deep Moisturizing Conditioner.  The next day I washed the conditioner out and sprayed my hair and scalp with a leave in growth treatment then Aphogee Keratin and Green Tea Reconstructer and followed that with One n Only Argan Oil.  I put about a nickel size amount in each of the four sections of my hair, then let it dry in four braids overnight.  This is where the video basically begins, where my hair is air dried and I am ready to apply heat to my hair. 


I realize that there is a lot of smoke coming off of the styling tools but that is the Argan Oil burning off instead of protein from my hair.  The Argan Oil is a great heat protectant but I noticed that it makes my already thin hair, look extremely thin and I don't care for that too much.

So when I do my hair again in a week or so, I will skip the Argan Oil until after I have finished flat ironing.  I was not able to take pictures for my length check but I just trimmed my ends with my Split Ender and I love it, so I know that the next flat ironing session will be much smoother.  I will use a heat protector by Giovanni that is water based instead of oil based next time, so that I will be able to get maximum swang.

At first I used a ceramic + titanium flat iron by Helen of Troy Professional Series, but I was not used to the cord and I was not getting my roots straight.  Oh, I had to get my roots straight in the back section again because when I went outside the moisture in the air had almost reverted the roots back to wavy again, the top of my head was covered with a hat, so it did not revert.

Ultimately, I liked the results of the ceramic flat iron, I was actually surprised that it was getting my ends so straight, but the marcel flat iron was much quicker and I was more comfortable using the comb chase method with the marcel iron because I have done it before.  I hope you enjoy the video, sorry it is so long but I wanted to put as much of the process in as I possibly could.

Well, I am looking forward to starting my 2011 hair challenges and goals, I am in a Bra Strap Length challenge on LHCF and I am joining the 2011 braid challenge again.  I think I retained a lot of length this year with low maintenance and protective styling.  If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to leave a comment, be sure to include your email address if you would like me to respond to you.

Best Twist Out Results Ever On My Natural Hair!!!

So, I decided to remove my latest installation of braids this weekend which had been in for about 5 weeks.  I shampooed and conditioned my hair with the Therapeutic shampoo and conditioner that I talked about in a previous post then towel dried with my Turbie twist.  After my hair air dried for about 30 minutes I put in some Beyond the Zone Split Mender Leave-In Conditioner and let me tell you, that conditioner has so much slip, it is unreal.  Since my hair was feeling so good, I decided to try a wash and go, after running a few errands my hair had completely dried and I did not like the results.  My hair had drawn up so tightly and it looked very dry but was soft to the touch and had body.

When I got home I decided to try a twist out on my wash and go hair.  I parted small sections with my fingers, sprayed the section with water, then added Palmer's (yes, the cocoa butter maker) Styling Cream on the section from about 1/2 inch down from the root and smoothed to the ends.  Then I split the section into two pieces and twisted them together all the way down to the end.  I repeated this all around my head until I had about 12 or 13 medium sized twist all around.


One thing that I noticed was that the Palmers Styling Cream instantly sealed my ends and smoothed them down very nicely.  I mean the roughest section of my hair was the smoothest I have ever seen it and then I realized that the styling cream has Vitamin A, D, E with Protein.  I think my natural hair really needs this protein and I could instantly see the difference.  My hair was not greasy, it had great definition and lots of body.  These pictures are from the next morning when it had fully air dried overnight.



  I decided not to wear my twist out just yet because I am still on a hide my hair and braid challenge, so I will just leave the twist in and wear a half wig until I get my Ozone Aplus lace front wig that I just ordered.  I also purchased an inexpensive ceramic+titanium flat iron for my next length check.  I purchased this Palmer's Styling Cream about 5 months ago from my local Big Lot's store for $2 and I came across it again recently in one of my PJ drawers and figured I would use it.  I am glad I tried it because this is the best twist out I have ever had on my 4a hair.  I will record the process next time and I am going to henna my hair first before I wear my twist out because I don't want any grays showing and I want that red stain on my hair.  Until Next Time Lacefora.com readers.
Please post any questions you may have for me in the comment section below.

Update 11/24/10:
So I wanted to come back to show my hair after it had been tied up underneath a wig cap and half wig for 3 days.  I untwisted all of the twists I had made in my hair on Saturday with the Palmer's Vitamin and Protein Styling Cream because I was about to wash my hair, and this is how it looked...



I really liked how it turned out, my hair was still very moisturized and it was well defined.  My hair still had body and I could have rocked this look for Thanksgiving but I decided to wear my Ozone Aplus wig that I received this same day!  My Hair is completely dry and no other product has been added to my hair since the styling cream was added 4 days prior to these pictures.  So, my overall rating of this product is 2 thumbs up!
                  

My Version of the KimmayTube Leave-In Conditioner Recipe

Hello readers,

Well as promised I am showing you my mixture of one of the most popular recipe's in the natural hair community, which would be KimmayTube's leave-in conditioner recipe.  This was actually my first time making the leave-in conditioner and while I did not use the exact products that she used in her You Tube video (such as the Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave-In Conditioner), they were close enough, plus I added my own twist to it.

I used 2 tablespoons (1 oz.) of Beyond the Zone Split Mender Leave-in conditioner, 2 tablespoons (1 oz.) of Whole Leaf Aloe Vera Juice, 2 teaspoons each of Lavender Jamaican Black Castor Oil and Jojoba Oil with 1/2 teaspoon of Vitamin e oil for preservation.  You will see me mixing up these items together in the video below and you will see how I accidentally spilled some extra  Aloe Vera juice in which may account for why my mixture came out so watery.


The purpose of this leave-in conditioner is to give hair a proper pH balance so that your hair can also be moisturized at the same time.  A proper pH balanced product can instantly seal the cuticle of the hair shaft and should leave the hair feeling soft.  I put the mix into the refrigerator and the leave-in conditioner did thicken up a bit and had a better consistency after about 4 days.   I did end up trying my leave-in conditioner on a section of my hair and I immediately felt the difference in the way it felt and this mixture gave my hair a lot of slip.  I would definitely recommend trying Kimmaytube's leave-in conditioner recipe because it can be cheaper than purchasing a commercial leave-in conditioner, and I will alternate between this and Beauty Without Cruelty Leave-in Conditioner which is organic and really good in my opinion.

Let me know if you decided to try this recipe and how it worked for you.  I am seriously considering purchasing the new One n Only Flat Iron that has Argan Oil infused into the ceramic plates and if I do I will definitely be doing a review on it.   
Update: I purchased a Helen of Troy Ceramic+Titanium Professional Flat Iron on 11/22/10 and I will be testing it out very soon.
Be sure to check out some of my other blog posts regarding protecting your natural hair and growing it long.

Detangling My Natural Hair Using Beauty Without Cruelty Leave-in Conditoner...

Hello again Lacefora.com readers,

I am back showing you all how I detangle my natural hair after I have shampooed and conditioned it.  I have been using an all natural hair product called Hair Renew that I found on eBay and it comes with a therapeutic shampoo, conditioner and leave-in treatment spray that I have been spraying on my weak edges.  I really enjoy the conditioner because it gives me a lot of slip.

This set cost me $38 but it has lasted me for over two months.  In the video below I am showing you my natural hair in it's curly state and my detangling process using the Beauty Without Cruelty Leave-in Conditioner.  I made a previous post raving about this product, but now I am actually showing you how I use it.
Click Play below:


So, that's my regular routine for detangling my hair after my braids have been removed and it has been freshly washed and slightly towel dried.  When my hair is in braids I shampoo and condition my braids once a week and I spray the Aphogee Keratin and Green Tea Reconstructer and the Hair Renew spray that you saw me spray on my hair in the video.  Once a month I take the braids down and thoroughly detangle my hair like shown in the video.                                                                                                                                      

I received my order of Giovanni products which are my favorite natural products by far; I purchased Giovanni Smooth As Silk Shampoo and Conditioner (actually 2 bottles of conditioner), Giovanni Nutrafix Protein Treatment and Giovanni wax pomade.   I also bought some Beyond the Zone Split Mender Leave-in conditioner and some whole leaf Aloe Vera Juice to mix with my jojoba oil and Lavender Jamaican Black Castor Oil to make my Kimmaytube leave-in conditioner recipe, so stay tuned for that...

After my hair air dried, I braided my hair in about five plaits or braids as flat as possible to my head, then applied my full lace wig.  Please click on the comment link to leave a comment or ask a question, I always respond to your questions promptly.  Until next time, Happy Hair Growing!!!

Update 3/28/2011:
I am still using the Beauty Without Cruelty Leave in Conditioner and it is still doing a great job.  I just re-purchased this conditioner and I used it in my natural hair after I had shampooed and condtioned it.  My hair is still soft 2 days later and it leaves my ends very soft and moisturized.  I highly recommend this BWC leave in conditioner for any naturals who are looking for an organic leave in product that really works.

How to Remove A Full Lacefront Wig

When removing a full lace or front lace wig it is very important to take your time and work in small sections to ensure that you do not pull out any of your natural hair from your hairline.

In this video I will be giving you an update on my full lace wig that I applied in a previous video (click to see application video) and show you how I remove the unit.  I really needed to cleanse my scalp because it was starting to itch and that let me know that I was getting buildup on my scalp so I shampooed and conditioned.  I am using 91% alcohol and C-22 Citrus Solvent in this demonstration and you will see how I layer the two products to give me a more efficient removal.  
  
I was being sure to carefully lift the lace off of my hairline, but there was an area of hair in the back that got a little adhesive on it.  So, I held my hair down by the roots and gently pulled the lace and wig cap off of my hair.  I do this so that I am not accidentally pulling my hair out by the roots if a little adhesive does happen to get caught in the hair.  
To ensure that all of the adhesive glue was out of my hair after the lace unit was off, I sprayed my hairline with the C-22 Citrus Solvent, massaged it in, then wiped it off.  The BMB adhesive comes right off with the Citrus Solvent, but you must shampoo the Citrus Solvent out of your hair.  


I hope this video gives you a good idea of how to remove your lace wig.  I know I have covered a lot of information about how to apply a lace wig, but never how to remove it properly.  Please subscribe to this blog if you would like to stay updated on natural hair protection and growth using lace wigs.

Washing Natural Hair In Braids

Hello Lacefora.com readers,

 The selfish philosopher rages.  I have been holding out on you and not sharing all of my go to products, but I wanted to share with you my experience with natural hair and extension less braids, which means that your own natural hair is braided to the scalp and no synthetic braiding hair is used.
I am still trying to use all natural products so I used a lavender shampoo by Whole Foods 365 and Suave Naturals Tropical Coconut Conditioner.  I do not care for the Lavender shampoo because it does not lather very well and I did not know if it got all of my braided hair thoroughly cleaned.

Beauty Without Cruelty Leave-In Conditioner, Revitalize 8.5fl oz

After my hair had air dried I coated the ends of my hair with Beauty Without Cruelty Leave in Conditioner.
I have been using this product for about 2 months and I feel that I can give you an honest review.  This leave in conditioner has left my hair feeling soft and very manageable when it is out of braids, and when I put this product on the ends of my hair they instantly curled up as if they had been sprayed with water or some liquid.  This conditioner is a cream but is not thick at all.  It actually has a water based consistency and is very easy to apply throughout my 3c/4a hair.


I recently read a post on the forum I belong to and one of the young ladies said that she was going to stop wearing her hair braided because "her ends were becoming thin".  When I started the crowning glory method I researched a lot and learned that it was very important to keep your hair balanced with a combination of protein and moisture and very important to keep your ends moisturized and trimmed.  So don't be afraid to grow your natural hair out using braids...as long as you keep your scalp clean and your ends moisturized, you should be able to achieve growth and retain the length you have worked so hard to get.

Light Yaki Lace Wig Application

Hello my fellow readers,
I just wanted to show you my latest lace wig application.  This is my Indian Remy Light Yaki Full Lace Wig, that I have dyed to a dark brown color on top and it is still 1B on the bottom, mostly in the back.  
My natural hair is braided and has been freshly washed.  I used my Giovanni Smooth As Silk Deeper Moisture Shampoo and Suave Naturals Coconut Conditioner on my scalp and braids.  I have been using a natural product called Hair Renew and so I sprayed some of that on my braids after they had been air dried.  I wash my hair every time I remove my lace unit, which is usually every 5-7 days.

Again, I have glued my wig cap down using BMB lace wig adhesive and prepped my hairline with 91% alcohol that I purchased from Walgreen's and Walker's Scalp Protector all around because this is a full lace application.  After the wig cap set in the glue for about 7 minutes I cut the excess off and tried to follow the pattern of my natural hairline.  I did not do that great of a job cutting the wig cap this time and I created a couple of runs in the nylon, but the main idea is to cover your natural hair so you can reduce the amount of glue that may get in it.

Watch the video below to see the actual application from that point I left off explaining above, I will wrap up after the video.

So, as you can see this was a pretty simple application and it was not that messy.  I did have to go back in with the BMB and touch up the sides the next day because I had totally misjudged how far to go down on the side burn area.  I purchased this unit from a vendor that I am looking to work with in the near future on a business venture.  I have sampled a couple of full lace units from various vendors, mostly Chinese, but so far I have only liked 2 out of the 4 sampled.

I really like this particular unit, it is 16" long and it is a yaki straight texture.  An older male co-worker told me that I  looked like a black Cher, I did not know what to think about that, but I like the sleek look of it after it has been wrapped.  

I am working on posting new content on a weekly basis to keep this blog fresh.  I love the fact that I am able to use video to help my readers get a better understanding of what I am attempting to explain.  Be sure to bookmark me and check back regularly for information on natural hair protection using lace wigs.