My 2015 Natural Hair Regimen & Product Guide


Craig... Craig, can I borrow your product guide?

 Hola Chicas,

It's been a disrespectfully long time since I've updated my natural hair care regimen.  So long, that when I began compiling the deets, ish got outta hand and a couple of paragraphs turned into a whole, entire dissertation.


Read On!>>>

My Fall/Winter 2013 Natural Hair Regimen

#ChunkyFlatTwistnIt #BobbinIt
Keeping that shape tight with flexis!  I do my own cuts now with these joints
Hola Chicas!

So, my Fall/Winter 2013 routine is a 2011 throwback.  It's pretty much identical, save for a few new products and techniques.

The theme for this season... Functional Protection. Mainly because of time, but also because there's the issue of the second head I'm responsible for and I'm just damn tired!

Read On!>>>

My Fall 2012 Routine- The WDTM&G


The last few months have been all about the Wash, Do The Most & Go (WDTM&G) and the forecast for the foreseeable is much of the same, 'cause I'm feeling myself *brushes shoulder off*.

Here's a quick look at the routine-
  • Re-style (wash or co-wash) two or three times a week.  I shampoo on the weekend. Generally, unless I have a rough night, I only style on Sundays and Wednesdays.
  • Out styles 99% of the time (down or puff)
  • Henna once a month (at least, alternating between just roots and full head treatments)
  • Light oil every day, especially on ends 
  • Pre-'poo religiously 
  • Daily multi vitamin + daily Biotin + half my body weight in ounces of water
  • Sleep with my hair out on a satin pillow case, well, 'cause I don't know what else to do!  Pineappling isn't working and bonnets smash the curls and I hate re-wetting daily.  
For those that want the nitty gritty, know that I follow one of three WDTM&G techniques depending upon the mood I'm in- The Tracee, The Pippi or The Unicorn.  I only do The Tracee once a week (because it incorporates the use of a modified Denman), and The Pippi and Unicorn get used interchangeably... whatevs.  All three aim to yield clumpier, more consistent, defined results on my naturally very piece-y, skinny curls, and most have similar steps.  The night before wash day, I do a pre-poo with coconut oil and then the morning of, I apply yogurt on top of that. So without further ado, check out the deets-


The Tracee (Ellis Ross, that is. This routine incorporates several of Tracee's curl defining tips)

  • An hour before I shower, I apply a deep conditioner/yogurt treatment to my dry hair and don a plastic cap.  To generate heat, sometimes I'll wear a beanie or my heat cap w/out microwaving it.
  • Hop in the shower and rinse.
  • Thoroughly saturate hair with water and divide into two (left and right).
  • Cleanse hair with co-wash or mild shampoo (it depends upon the state of my hair but I generally use a mild shampoo once a week, on Sunday, and use a co-wash the other wash session)-- one side at a time. Rinse thoroughly.
  • Generously apply a slippery conditioner, usually Aussie Moist or Tresemme Naturals, to both sides in a smooshing motion.
  • Pass my head back under the water stream for a second, for better distribution and added slip.
  • Add even more conditioner
  • Clip the hair up and out of the way to complete shower rituals.
  • Take down the right side and section out the back piece near my neck. Pin up the rest.  I finger detangle thoroughly and then, using the Denman, brush through once or twice for smoothing and curl clumpage.   The Denman creates what looks like finger waves on my conditioner laden curls.  Next, I section out another piece, and follow the same routine- finger detangle then brush once or twice.  Sometimes,  I create a hair sandwich where I'll use one hand to hold the brush and the other hand to smooth the hair as I pull the brush through.  I end up with about 6-8 sections per side.   
  •  Once all the hair on each side has been finger detangled and smoothed and clumped with the Denman, I rinse the right side.  I hold the clumped curls in the palm of my hand and stand under the shower stream, allowing the water to gently rinse away the conditioner.  I do the same on the left.  I rinse 100% of the conditioner. 
  • I then use the praying hands method to wring away some of the excess water and get out of the shower.
  •  Finally, I apply my cream styler of choice in a smooshing motion (not raking, as I don't want to disturb the curls I just created with the Denman) to the right side, then the left.  I finger twirl any frizzy bits and smooth product down the length of any curls that didn't clump, using my fingers like a flat iron. 
I usually sit under the dryer for 15 minutes to get things going and air dry the rest of the way.  Sometimes, I'll hit the roots with the blow dryer for extra hangage :)

Pros
  • Massive curl clumps- That Denman is a beast!
  • Even definition 
  • Thorough detangling 
  • Decent drying time if you use a quick drying curl cream 
Cons
  • The Denman, (aka Shredder) and I have a long and sordid history... a love/hate relationship if you will.  I'm pretty sure it caused split ends in the past, but I was also using it differently.  I was using it to define my curls later in the styling routine... like on hair that was just damp with a little leave-in on it.  I found that it had more drag and pulled more hair out, as well as left my roots very puffy.  I've also used it as my sole detangling tool with disastrous results. Using it after finger detangling to clump my curls in the shower, protected by a thick layer of conditioner, may be the way to go.  I'll pay attention to my ends and keep y'all posted.  
  •  The Denman leaves me shrinkier, even when wet, so you know what it is, lol.  My hair dries much shorter than usual, which is actually not a con for me because it exaggerates the shape of my cut. 

Fall 2011 Natural Hair Regimen and Products



My fall routine is pretty much identical to the summer one. Only I'm retiring the magnetic rollers 'cause I ain't got the patience, the blow fryer 'cause my ends ain't got the strength, and the tools 'cause I ain't got the bulk to lose. The theme for this season... Functional Protection. Mainly because of time, but also because occasionally you just need a break from your hair. I'm there... we need some time apart!

Here's a quick look at my Fall regimen--

  • Wash once or twice a month
  • Curlformers to stretch
  • No combs or brushes... fingers only... for everything
  • Rock twists 99% of the time
  • Henna once a month (at least)
  • Oil every day
  • Moisturize every 3 days
  • Protective styling
  • Satin bonnet scarf, every night, no exceptions
For those that want the nitty gritty--

Every 2-4 weeks, I remove my twists, and-

  • Apply a deep conditioner and/or oil to my dry hair, apply a plastic cap and heat cap for 15 mins.
  • Hop in the shower and rinse.
  • Thoroughly saturate hair with water and divide into two (left and right).
  • Cleanse hair with shampoo-- one side at a time. Rinse thoroughly.
  • Apply a slippery conditioner, usually Aussie Moist, to both sides in a smooshing motion.
  • Pass my head back under the water stream for a second, for better distribution and added slip.
  • Clip the hair up and out of the way to complete shower rituals.
  • Take down the right side and finger detangle a bit -- detangling the rest under the water stream with fingers only. Follow up with the left side. If the conditioner is washed away and tangles are left, I add more conditioner, and repeat. The power of the water stream and the slip of the conditioner should make detangling a breeze! *Since my hair was previously detangled and in twists, this step takes no where near as long as it used to!*
  • Hop out of the shower and allow hair to dry for 15-30 minutes... blot excess moisture. Apply Lacio Lacio leave-in and oil.
  • Stretch the hair with Curlformers.
  • Allow to set overnight until dry.
  • Remove the rollers and finger comb through the curls with oil. Wear hair in two big flat twists, or one high bantu knot, or a bun, or, most often, chunky twists.
  • For chunky twists, I do 10-11 twists total, 5 on each side (two in the back, one above my ear, one framing my face, and one immediately behind that one), and one at the crown.
  • Start with the back- left side. Finger detangle with a little oil to smooth and twist. After the twists are complete, I apply Qhemet's Cocoa Ghee or the Lacio Lacio to the length of each twist, focusing on the ends. I don't use much... just enough to lightly dampen and moisturize. This also helps the twists to set.
  • Once all the twists are complete and slightly damp (from the moisturizer), I tie on a satin scarf, leaving the twists dangling, but the crown secure to control the frizzies. I then tie on my satin bonnet scarf. This is how I sleep.
  • I leave my hair in twists 99% of the time, rocking them under hats, or pulled back. Nothing fancy.

twists are moisturized, oiled and pinned up

tucked away for safe keeping under my satin bonnet scarf

Made less frumpy with a slouchy beanie

To maintain the twists-
  • Re-moisturize at least twice a week, re-twisting frizzy twists whenever necessary.
  • Oil EVERY.SINGLE. DAY. It keeps my hair soft and pliable. I usually do this at night before going to bed.
  • Heated moisture/oil treatment at least once a week
For when I wanna get 'cute' (once a week)-
  • Add moisturizer to the ends, and roll the last few inches of each twist on a skinny flexi rod. Or pin curl the end with a bobby pin.
  • Allow to fully dry.
  • Remove the rollers, and release the twists.
  • Fluff and go!
  • Later that evening or the next day, I re-twist using the steps above.

PRODUCTS:

Shampoos-

-KeraCare Natural Textures Cleansing Cream
-Elucence Moisture Benefits Shampoo

Deep Conditioners-
-Jessicurl TooShea
-Curl Junkie Rehab Moisturizing Hair Treatment

Detangling Conditioner-
Aussie Moist

Leave-in-
Lacio Lacio

Moisturizer-

- Qhemet Biologics Cocoa Tree Detangling Ghee

Oils-

-Treasured Lock's African Argan Oil Elixir
-Castor and Moringa Softening Serum

Tools/Accessories-
-CurlFormers

-Hair Therapy Wrap
-Slouchy Beanie
-Satin Bonnet Scarf

Henna-
-Mehandi.com


*NOTES:


-I believe this routine works for me because (1) I only work out 2-3 times a week, and (2) I don't have a true 9-5... my chunky (and in my case, scalpy, lol) twists are worn around town, in the house, and to my appointments with clients. If I had to be 'in public' more, I'd feel the need to change up my look and professionalize it a bit.

- I've learned that applying the wet product to my loose, dry hair, can sometimes cause tangles and matting, but applying it to the twists prevents the drama. Thus, I often apply the moisturizer AFTER I twist.

-If you noticed, I apply my leave-in to damp (not wet) hair that has been gently blotted. This prevents the excess water from diluting the effects of the conditioner/moisturizer.

-I've reincorporated henna and apply it to my dirty, dry hair prior to my bi-monthly washing.

-If you're a stretcher, get some CurlFormers. It's the most effective method I've used to date.


What does your fall routine look like?

2011 Summer Regimen- Natural Hair Routine


Long overdue? Sorry. But I've been super busy, super tired, and also wanted to make sure I genuinely liked the routine before posting! In sum, I 'do' my hair once a month, bi-weekly at most. I'm in twists 90% of the time, and add rollers to the ends to rock a (dry set) Twist-n-Curl every now and again. My hair is almost never out. Moisturizing and daily oiling are key components of my regimen. I must say, I'm pretty happy. I originally arrived here because I love the volume and chunkiness of a dry twist-out... my laziness to re-style resulted in long stints in twists. It's been an amazing time saver now that 'momming' is my top priority, and I like that it's totally functional, allowing me to 'get cute' at will. So here goes;


Every third Saturday of the month, I remove my twists, and-

  • Apply a deep conditioner and/or oil to my dry hair, apply plastic cap and heat cap for 15 mins.
  • Hop in the shower and rinse thoroughly.
  • Thoroughly saturate hair with water in the shower, and divide into two (left and right).
  • Cleanse hair with shampoo-- one side at a time.
  • Apply a slippery conditioner to both sides in a smooshing motion (usually Aussie).
  • Pass my head back under the shower stream for a second, for better distribution and added slip.
  • Clip the hair up and out of the way while I complete shower rituals.
  • Take down the right side and finger detangle a bit -- detangling the rest under the water stream with Ouidad Double Detangler after the big knots are out. Follow up with the left side. If the conditioner is washed away and tangles are left, I add more conditioner, and repeat. The power of the water stream and the slip of the conditioner should make detangling a breeze! *Since my hair was previously detangled and in twists, this step takes no where near as long as it used to!*
  • Hop out of the shower and allow hair to dry for 15-30 minutes... blot with microfiber towel. Apply a leave-in moisturizer and oil.
  • Stretch the hair. Depending on time and mood, I will either (1) make 8-10 chunky twists or braids- 4 or 5 on each side, (2) roller-set, or (3) blow dry hair in sections on warm, concentrating on the roots, and skipping the ends. **This step is to stretch the hair for the 'real' style**. You could also pull the hair into a bun, do cornrows, or band. I like to roller-set... and it's usually a piss poor set because I'm rushing.
  • Allow to set until dry. If you blew it out (and didn't wet set to stretch), proceed to the next step!
  • Take down the twists (or braids or rollers) and finger detangle if necessary. Divide hair into two. I now prepare to twist my dry hair.
  • I do 10-11 twists total, 5 on each side (two in the back, one above my ear, one framing my face, and one immediately behind that one), and one at the crown.
  • Start with the back- left side. Finger detangle to smooth, apply a pea sized amount of your chosen moisturizer, and twist. Move on to the next one. I've learned that using a water based product gets the job done just fine... for me, adding water results in frizzier twists and a frizzier set.
  • Complete all twists in the same manner-- adding your moisturizer of choice along the way.
  • Once all the twists are complete and slightly damp (from the moisturizer), I tie on a satin scarf, leaving the twists dangling, but the crown secure to control the frizzies. I then tie on my satin bonnet.
  • I leave my hair in twists 90% of the time, rocking them under my summer hats, or pulled back. Nothing fancy.

To maintain the twists-

  • Re-moisturize at least twice a week, re-twisting frizzy twists whenever necessary
  • Oil EVERY.SINGLE. DAY. It keeps my hair soft and pliable.
  • Heated moisture/oil treatment at least once a week

For when I wanna get 'cute' (once a week usually)-

  • Add moisturizer to the ends, and roll the last few inches of each twist on a skinny flexi rod.
  • Allow to fully dry
  • Remove the rollers, and release the twists
  • Apply a pea sized amount of Aveda Anti- Humectant Pomade
  • Fluff and go!
  • Later that evening or the next day, I re-twist using the steps above

PRODUCTS:

Shampoos I'm using-


-CURLS Curlicious Curls Cleansing Cream
-KeraCare Natural Textures Cleansing Cream
-Elucence Moisture Benefits Shampoo***

Deep Conditioners I'm using-

-Jessicurl TooShea
-Curl Junkie Rehab Moisturizing Hair Treatment

Leave-in I'm using-

Salerm 21

Moisturizers I'm Using-


- Qhemet Biologics Cocoa Tree Detangling Ghee***
-CURLS Curl Souffle

Oils I'm Using
-

-Treasured Lock's African Argan Oil Elixir (unscented... I like that it's non-oily, but has more of a serum consistency which helps with frizz, hold, and truly locks in moisture. I'm talking seriously SMOOTH and soft hair.)
-Burts Bees Nourishing Baby Oil (full of porosity reducing ceramides)

Serums/Anti-Humectants I'm Using-

-Sabino Lok and Blok
-Aveda Anti-Humectant Pomade***

Tools I'm Using-

-Ouidad Double Detangler (in the shower)
-
Fingers ONLY, throughout the month
-Flexi-rods for dry Twist-n-Curl (I use the smallest size... turquoise... $2 for 6 at local BSS)
-Jumbo Magnetic rollers (if I roller-set to stretch)
-Andis Blow Dryer (if I blow-out to stretch)

Heat Cap
-

I own the 'micro heat cap' which has been discontinued in most places. But a very similar product can be purchased HERE... I now have one and like it better than the old one!


***absolute favorites!

NOTES:

-A note on stretching- Remember, the blow dryer is our frenemy and should be used minimally... once a month at the most. The look of a twist-out on blown out hair is unmatched... very Joan Clayton. BUT, I would reserve it for special occasions. If you don't have time to do a wet set (rollers or twists) to stretch your hair in preparation for your dry set, you can blow dry your hair on warm, concentrating on the roots, and skipping the ends. Remember to use a heat protectant, Sabino is a great one!

-I believe this routine works for me because (1) I no longer workout (scold me later!), and (2) I don't have a true 9-5... my chunky (and in my case, scalpy, lol) twists are worn around town, in the house, and to my appointments with clients that I've worked with for years. If I had to be 'in public' more, I'd feel the need to change up my look.

- I've learned that applying the wet product to my loose, dry hair, can sometimes cause tangles and matting, but applying it to the twists prevents the drama. Thus, I often apply the moisturizer AFTER I twist.

-If you noticed, I apply my deep conditioner and leave-in to damp (not wet) hair that has been gently blotted. This prevents the excess water from diluting the effects of the conditioner.

-If I'm feeling fancy, the night before my monthly washing, I'll henna. I missed last month, but have plans for a June henna session!

My Grow-Out Challenge Routine



Hola Chicas!

Like Kim Coles, for me, the Grow-Out Challenge will encompass more than just hair. During this 6 month journey, I will challenge myself to:

(1) Compartmentalize my life and learn to be present
(2) Eat healthier, minimally processed foods, and resume my regular work out routine
(3) Achieve the BIGGEST hair I can- keeping more strands and retaining length

break, break down:

(1) The blog has grown to monumental proportions, and while I greatly enjoy keeping you dolls abreast on all things curly, sometimes I find myself a bit distracted from real life. That, plus my psychotherapy career, managing a household, and living with a man who is currently dissertating (sweet baby Jesus give me strength)... let's just say the plate is full. Did I mention we'll probably be relocating this year? Oh, and I still have to fulfill the renewal requirements for my therapy license. So yeah. Dayum.

I notice that even when I put the computer down and turn off my cell (which I HAVE to do or else I compulsively check it every 5 minutes), my mind is still on work. I can be out with Gene and Gia, or enjoying a stolen moment alone, and find myself stressing over that interview I haven't transcribed yet, or worried if Ms. X really was suicidal yesterday. I'm juggling a lot, but I know that there must be some schedule, some routine that I can develop that will allow me to be successful at what I do, while enjoying the present. Still figuring it out...

(2) For the first time in my life, I'm truly thankful for my petite stature... my chicken legs. Thankful that I was predisposed to lose that baby weight, which I think was mostly water. However, according to the results of my last 2 physicals, my cholesterol is a teeny bit high. What can I say? I love bacon... it's good for me.

While pregnant (out of fear of gaining excessively), I walked 3 miles daily, and ate rather healthy... save for the occasional strawberry pancakes. I gained 40 pounds, and now, at 5 months post-partum, have lost 42 pounds. YAY! Now that I'm back down and feeling like Nikki, many of my old habits have returned. When I say old habits, I don't mean habits from 2001. Long before I became preggers I had changed my lifestyle... eating whole grains, avoiding fried foods, sodas, sugary sweets, and drinking lots and lots of water. My problem is, I'll go hard and jump on the wagon for 2 weeks, only to fall off head first.

My weakness- - fried things with cheese. oh, and cakes, cookies, and pies.

When I was pregnant I felt guilty for eating fatty, sugary things and could convince myself to opt for something healthier but still filling. Now that it's just me, I find myself in line at Popeye's, Mayflower, and our local soul food establishment multiple times weekly. mmmm... fried okra. I eat a lot of fast food because I can't fry things myself out of fear of being popped by grease.

I'm also a fair weather exerciser- I only walk in the spring and fall because I hate the heat, hate the cold, and hate the treadmill.

All of that to say, during these 6 months, I'm off the stuff. Fried stuff... except for once a week. Other than that, it's the Trader Joe's freezer section for me. I'm eating oatmeal and fruit smoothies for breakfast, packing lunch, and cooking dinner. And starting today, I'm walking again :-)

(3) I'm still losing hair by the fist-fulls. The strands that have managed to hang on are dry and at times, crunchy. I'm trimming tomorrow and officially starting my GOC routine. My goal is not for longer hair (I'm comfortable at my current length), but for greater volume. A chin to shoulder length bob is my ideal length and frames my face well.

Every two weeks:
  • Detangle dry hair in sections with fingers first, following up with the Ouidad Double Detangler. Twist each section as I go to keep hair from re-tangling.
  • Wash in twists with Elucence Moisture Benefits Shampoo
  • Deep condition (in twists) with Myhoneychild Olive You, Jessicurl Weekly Deep Conditioner, or Curl Junkie Rehab Moisturizing Hair Treatment and my micro heat cap for 30 minutes
  • Rinse (hair still in twists) and air dry for 15-20 minutes
  • Divide bigger twists into smaller twists using KeraCare Leave-in or CURLS Milkshake. This step stretches my natural curl to prevent fairy knots.
  • Seal the ends with shea butter
  • Air dry over night
  • Free form curly bun (using a Goody Ouchless band) until Friday
  • On weekends, I'll dry Twist-n-Curl if I have plans (detangling with my fingers and the Ouidad Double Detangler, using CURLS Curl Souffle to set), wear it out for 2-3 days, and then bun again.
  • I'll repeat the bun/Twist-n-Curl routine twice before re-washing. My hair will be bunned 90% of the time.
Nightly:
  • When bunning- I will either (1) loosen the bun, apply shea to edges, and tie with a scarf, or (2) remove the bun, moisturize, re-bun, apply shea to my edges, and tie down with a scarf.
  • When wearing it out- pineapple and sleep on satin
Daily:
  • Drink at least 64 oz of water (I add a little cranberry juice)
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet
  • Take Rainbow Light Prenatal One, Slow Release Iron, Sublingual Liquid B Complex, and my birth control ;)
Monthly:
  • HENNA GLOSS

In the words of my late English teacher, this note is starting to get verbose, and I've had more than a few glasses of wine. I'll check in soon!

Later Gators,
Nik

Besides healthy hair, what else will you be working on during the #KimColesGOC?

2010 Winter Hair Regimen


Current Product Rotation:

  • Rinse-out or Detangling Conditioners- Herbal Essence's Totally Twisted or Hello Hydration, Yes To Carrots or Cucumbers, Aussie Moist
  • Henna - Bridal Art Quality Jamila from Butters-n-Bars.com. I buy the Jamila in the foil pouch only, not the cellophane.
Hair Styles (listed in order of how often it is worn):
  • Dry Twist-n-Curl (see below)
  • High Bun- The same basic steps found in THIS VIDEO, but done on dry, previously twisted hair.
Current Routine:

Every other Saturday (yes, twice a month) afternoon I do the following:
  • Thoroughly saturate hair with water in the shower, and divide into two (left and right).
  • Cleanse hair with shampoo-- one side at a time.
  • Apply conditioner of the day to both sides in a smooshing motion (usually Aussie).
  • Pass my head back under the shower stream for a second, for better distribution and added slip.
  • Clip the hair up and out of the way while I complete shower rituals.
  • Take down the right side and finger detangle a bit -- detangling the rest under the water stream with Ouidad Double Detangler after the big knots are out. Follow up with the left side. If the conditioner is washed away and tangles are left, I add more conditioner, and repeat. The power of the water stream and the slip of the conditioner should make detangling a breeze!
  • Hop out of the shower, allow hair to dry for 15 minutes... blot with microfiber towel.
  • Make 8-10 twists- 4 or 5 on each side. **This step is to stretch the hair for the 'real' hairstyle**. You could also pull the hair into a bun, do cornrows, a roller-set, chunky plaits, or band. (If you don't have time to do a wet set to stretch your hair in preparation for a dry set, you can blow dry your hair on warm, concentrating on the roots, and skipping the ends. A twist or braid-out on blown out hair may not last very long, but you'll definitely be rocking the Joan from Girlfriends look. I would reserve this style for special occasions. The blow dryer is definitely a frenemy.)
  • Seal the ends with shea.
  • Allow to airdry overnight, using a bonnet dryer if you're in a rush.
  • The next morning (Sunday), take down the twists and finger detangle if necessary. Divide hair into two. I now prepare to twist my dry hair for a wavy effect.
  • I do 10-11 twists total, 5 on each side (two in the back, one above my ear, one framing my face, and one immediately behind that one), and one at the crown.
  • Start with the back- left side. Brush the hair out (this is optional... I use a Denman paddle, but a wide tooth comb or fingers should suffice), apply a teeny bit of CURLS Souffle (leaves no residue and adds lots of moisture and shine), and twist with wet hands. Set the end on a flexi rod , and move on to the next one. Sometimes I skip the wet hands... the CURLS Souffle is wet enough and without the water results in a smoother set.
  • Complete all twists in the same manner-- adding CURLS Souffle along the way.
  • Once all the twists are damp and the ends are rolled, I tie on a satin scarf, leaving the twists dangling, but the crown secure to control the frizzies.
  • On Monday morning, I carefully take down each twist and fluff.
Preserving the Style:
  • I re-twist once or twice a week. Since the hair is somewhat straightened and already detangled, my fingers and the Ouidad Double Detangler (instead of brushing) gets the job done.
  • On nights that I don't re-twist, I pineapple (gather the hair at the crown and secure with a loose, satin scrunchy, and tie on a scarf), and sleep on a satin pillow case. I fluff the next morning with Philip B Formula 57 Serum.
I've been experimenting with this routine for a little over two months now. I like that I don't have to wet my hair as often (only twice a month), and that it yields fluffy, HUGE hair on day one. It makes my hair look thick, healthy, and full of life.

** I will resume once per month henna'ing soon.
**I deep treat once a month.



Dry Twist-n-Curl

Dry Twist-Out


Side bun done on an old twist-out

Modified Routine- Spring 2010


Hola Chicas,

I'm 6 months preggers today! Time is really moving... it's almost scary.
In random news, during a debilitating DQ Peanut Buster Parfait craving this afternoon, I had the clarity to look up the nutritional info online. O M G. One PBP is 770 calories!!!! Now that is RiGotDamnDiculous... shame on them! So I nixed that idea, and packed it up and headed to the store to purchase some Oreos and skim milk. Still not a healthy snack, but definitely the lesser of two evils.

As promised, I'm laying out the details of my slightly modified routine. It has elicited compliments from friends and strangers alike, and I absolutely love the feel of my hair! Although I'm still doing a Twist-n-Curl, there are two major changes:

  • Lighter Products- I'm using Yes to Cucumbers Conditioner to detangle in the shower, and as a moisturizing leave-in afterward. Since it has zero hold, I use a teeny bit of Deva Set it Free (2 squirts per twist) or Aveda's Light Elements Defining Whip (pea sized amount per twist) for staying power. I seal with shea butter on the last 2 inches of hair prior to rolling. The result? Hair that feels naked...product free...fluffy...yet moisturized. It moves! It's a great change from the heaviness of DevaCare One (which weighs my curls down showing more length), and I enjoy the volume it gives me on top. My latest lesson learned is that properly moisturized hair doesn't have to feel product-y or heavy!
  • Apply products to damp (not dripping) hair- My inspiration came from waking up to still wet, wet- sets on a regular basis. My hair is a bit thicker now, and I've noticed that even with the ceiling fan, my Twist-n-Curls have not been 100% (or even 80%) dry come morning. Cranking up the bonnet dryer or diffuser really isn't an option... I try to reserve the heat for emergencies. I was recently sent a pair of Hand Dry Hair Gloves to try, and I'm really loving them. After detangling and rinsing clean (hair in 6 twists as always), I gently blot dry each twist until it's just damp. I then apply the YTC and Set it Free to each section prior to twisting. The result? Hair that dries in half the time! I also seem to get more of a consistent curl pattern, and hair that appears to retain the moisture from the conditioner much better! Working with my damp hair used to be such a hassle... keeping it in detangled sections is the key. Also, I'm sure a paper towel or terry towel would work the same.


Besides the two points above, there are several other things I do to ensure good hair days:

  • Detangle in sections- When I get in the shower, my hair is loose. I wet it down, apply loads of conditioner, and let it marinate. I then split my hair down the middle, and start with the left side. I section out the back (pinning the rest of the left side up and out of the way) and detangle with my fingers and Ouidad comb under the shower stream. I two strand twist that section and repeat with the section near my ear, and by my face. Repeat with the right side. I end up with three product free, thoroughly detangled, twisted sections on each side-- 6 total. I then get out of the shower, blot, and apply my leave-in/stylers to each, prior to twisting.
  • Twist Placement- For looser waves, I find that 11 twists suffice. After making a center part, I place four twists near my face (two on either side of the part), one above each ear, four in the back, and one at the crown.
  • Preserving the Style- When showering on in-between days, I pull my hair into a low loose pony with a banana clip or satin scrunchy. I secure the crown with a silk scarf and cover it all with a shower cap. At night, I sleep with it out on my satin pillow case, flipped over the pillow so that I won't lay and drool on it. For my daily walk (outside or indoors), I pull it up or down into a loose pony.
  • Flexi-Rods for Ends- I'm using these instead of magnetic rollers because they are less taxing on the ends and easier to sleep on. I don't know the inch size, but I use the pink (quite small), or blue ones.
  • Hair Days- I style twice a week, Monday and Thursday, or Sunday and Wednesday. Going any longer than that, results in a dramaful detangling session.

Day 1 hair- pre fluffing



2nd and 3rd day hair with Yes to Cucumbers + Set it Free


Yes to Cucumbers + Aveda's Defining Whip!-- Better hold, more defined curl/wave pattern, and very soft!

__________________________________________________________________________


2010 Products, Styles, and Monthly Treatments:



Current Product Rotation:


Hair Styles (listed in order of how often it is worn):
  • High Bun- The same basic steps found in THIS VIDEO, but done on dry, previously twisted hair.
  • I haven't done a Bantu Knot-Out in a while due to the amount of time it takes to dry. I love the look, but hate sitting under the dryer!
To see pictures of my hair in the various styles, browse through My Hair.


Once a month, on a weekend, I do the following:
  • Shampoo, Condition, Detangle- I shampoo with a Mehandi bar, apply conditioner, detangle, and rinse thoroughly.
  • Apply Henna for an overnight treatment (4 hour treatment with heat, if I'm in a rush).
  • Deep Condition the next morning, and follow the steps above for styling.

My Routine: Winter 2009- Spring 2010

My hair in the KPLR interview, as well as other recent pics have been the result of the routine below :)


Current Product Rotation:

*I now henna once a month (if I remember), and DT twice a month.*

Hair Styles (listed in order of how often it is worn):
  • Braid-n-Curl (see below)
  • High Bun- The same basic steps found in THIS VIDEO, but done on dry, previously twisted hair.
  • I haven't done a Bantu Knot-Out in a while due to the amount of time it takes to dry. I love the look, but hate sitting under the dryer!
To see pictures of my hair in the various styles, browse through My Hair.


Current Routine:

Every other Saturday (yes, twice a month) afternoon I do the following:
  • Thoroughly saturate hair with water in the shower, and divide into two (left and right).
  • Cleanse hair with poo bar-- one side at a time.
  • Apply conditioner of the day to both sides in a smooshing motion (usually Herbal Essence).
  • Pass my head back under the shower stream for a second for better distribution and added slip.
  • Clip the hair up and out of the way while I complete shower rituals.
  • Take down the right side and finger detangle a bit -- detangling the rest under the water stream after the big knots are out. Follow up with the left side. If the conditioner is washed away and tangles are left, I add more conditioner, and repeat. The power of the water stream and the slip of the conditioner should make detangling a breeze!
  • Once all the tangles are melted away, and the Herbal Essence is rinsed clean, I apply a generous amount of Jessicurl Weekly Deep Treatment or Aubrey HSR. I get out of the shower, don a plastic cap and let it sit for 30 minutes with heat (the bonnet or my micro heat cap).
  • Get back in the shower and rinse thoroughly. Apply leave-in of choice-- usually Desert Essence or Giovanni Direct Leave-in.
  • Make 8-10 twists- 4 or 5 on each side. **This step is to stretch the hair for the 'real' hairstyle**. You could also pull the hair into a bun, do cornrows, a roller-set, chunky plaits, or band.
  • Seal the ends with shea or Oyin Burnt Sugar.
  • Allow to airdry overnight, using a bonnet dryer if you're in a rush.
  • The next morning (Sunday), take down the twists and finger detangle if necessary. Divide hair into two. I now prepare to braid my dry hair for a wavy effect.
  • I do 9 plaits total, 4 on each side (one in the back, one above my ear, one framing my face, and one immediately behind that one), and one at the crown, braided toward my face.
  • Start with the back- left side. Brush the hair out (this is optional... I use a goody paddle, but a wide tooth comb or fingers should suffice), apply a teeny bit of Burnt Sugar pomade, and make a braid/plait. I braid until I reach the last 2 inches and then I twist.
  • Complete all braids/plaits in the same manner-- adding Burnt Sugar Pomade along the way, and twisting the last two inches (makes for an easier take down).
  • Now, gather hair rollers and find your spritz (in a 2 dollar spray bottle from Sally's, I combine 1 part water, 1 part Desert Essence Green Apple Conditioner).
  • Spritz each braid, making it damp, not dripping wet. This step sets the hair. To make sure the braid gets thoroughly saturated I cradle the braid in one hand and spritz directly, in close range, with the other. Finally, I squish the mix through by squeezing the braid gently. Set the end on a rod roller, and move on to the next one.
  • Once all the braids are damp and the ends are rolled, I tie on a satin scarf, leaving the braids dangling, but the crown secure to control the frizzies.
  • On Monday morning, I carefully take down each braid and fluff.

Preserving the Style:
  • I re-braid every other night. Since the hair is somewhat straightened and already detangled, your fingers and a wide tooth comb should get the job done.
  • On nights that I don't re-braid, I pineapple (gather the hair at the crown and secure with a loose, satin scrunchy, and tie on a scarf), and sleep on a satin pillow case.
I've been experimenting with this routine for a little over a month now. I like that I don't have to wet my hair as often, and that it yields fluffy, HUGE hair on day one. I've received tons of compliments and people that know me, keep asking if my hair has grown! It makes my hair look thick, healthy, and full of life.

Pros:
-Moisturize once daily or every other day
-Stretched Hair (prevents breakage, splits, tangling)
-Makes fine hair appear voluminous
-Only have to re-style (wet, detangle, etc.) once a week, or bi-weekly. yay!!!

Cons:
-Excessive manipulation (especially if you're brushing daily). If you try this routine, only use the brush on day 1.
-If you work out regularly, you'll have to water rinse more often than twice a month.

As I stated in previous posts, I got the inspiration from Amel... plus, this was the routine my mom followed when I was a little girl (only it stayed in plaits 80% of the time). Since my hair is stretched, I'm experiencing fewer knots and tangles. I hope to see excellent length retention with this routine!


**I plan to do a Braid-n-Curl tutorial in the very near future!

My Routine-Fall and Winter 2009



Current Product Rotation:

  • Conditioners- Depending on how I feel, I use one, or a combo of the following to co-wash, detangle, and leave-in: Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine, Herbal Essence's Totally Twisted or Hello Hydration, and DevaCare One Condition.
  • Henna - Bridal Art Quality Jamila from Mehndiskinart.com--choose Jamila 2008 or '09, and use code 'CN' at the time of purchase. I buy the Jamila in the foil pouch only, not the cellophane. I also purchase henna from Butters-n-Bars.com.

Hair Styles (listed in order of how often it is worn):

  • High Bun- The same basic steps found in THIS VIDEO, but done on dry, previously twisted hair.
  • I haven't done a Bantu Knot-Out in a while due to the amount of time it takes to dry. I love the look, but hate sitting under the dryer!
To see pictures of my hair in the various styles, browse through My Hair.


Current Routine:

On Sunday afternoon I do the following:
  • Thoroughly saturate hair with water in the shower, and divide into two (left and right).
  • Apply conditioner of the day to both sides in a smooshing motion (usually Herbal Essence).
  • Pass my head back under the shower stream for a second for better distribution and added slip.
  • Clip the hair up and out of the way while I complete shower rituals.
  • Take down the right side and finger detangle a bit -- detangling the rest under the water stream after the big knots are out. Follow up with the left side. If the conditioner is washed away and tangles are left, I add more conditioner, and repeat. The power of the water stream and the slip of the conditioner should make detangling a breeze!
  • Once all the tangles are melted away, and the Herbal Essence is rinsed clean, I apply a generous amount of DevaCare to my hair in 4 sections to ensure coverage. I then pass my head back under the shower stream for even distribution and get out of the shower. I use lots of DevaCare One Condition as my leave-in...enough that I see white bits while styling. But don't worry, it dries clean and shiny!
  • Make 10-12 twists- 5 or 6 on each side. Secure the roots with clips.
  • Seal the ends with shea or Set it Free.
  • Set the ends on rollers (rods, magnetic or flexis).
  • Sleep under celing fan for faster drying time. If I'm in a hurry, I'll sit under my bonnet dryer for 20-30 minutes.
  • The next morning, I take the twists down, and choose whether to leave it out, or pull it up into a high bun, or gather it into a low side bun. If I decide on a high bun, I use my hands only to secure the bun (combs and brushes will create frizz). To help the edges lay, I tie on a silk scarf for 30 minutes before leaving the house.
  • My hair style lasts until the following Sunday. If I have weekend plans, I'll often re-style on Thursday or Friday -- so at the most, I style twice a week.
Once a month, on Thursday nights, I do the following:
  • Shampoo, Condition, Detangle- I shampoo with a Mehandi bar, apply conditioner, detangle, and rinse thoroughly.
  • Apply Henna for an overnight treatment (4 hour treatment with heat, if I'm in a rush).
  • Deep Condition the next morning, and follow the steps above for styling.

Preserving the Style:

  • To preserve my fluffy out-styles, I do THIS, or I sleep with my hair out on a satin pillow case, or up in a high, loose pony secured with a satin scrunchie. All three routines yeild excellent results.
  • To preserve my high buns, I don a silk scarf every evening. By day three or four of my bun, I apply Shea Butter to any unruly edges prior to applying the scarf for the evening. Shea is a great pomade.
  • To preserve the frizz-less low bun style, I take it out of the bun at night and secure it in a loose, higher bun on top of my head (with a satin scrunchie). I then don a satin scarf (to help the edges lay) and retire. The next morning, I take it down and pull it back down into a low bun

CurlyNikki's Mane Pics



CurlyNikki's Mane Picks

Shampoo:
Giovanni 50/50 Shampoo

Ingredients:
Water, Extracts of Rosemary Oil, Nettle Oil, Thyme Oil, Birch Leaf Oil, Chamomile Oil, Clary, Lavender, Coltsfoot Leaf, Yarrow Oil, Mallow, Horssetail, Oil, Soybean Protein, C12-14 Oletin Sulfonate (coconut derived), Cocamiddopropyl Betaine,Vitamin E, Trace Minerals, Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxymethdyl glycinate, Sodium Chloride (sea Salt) And Grapefruit seed * Certified Organic

Purchase from:
Whole Foods, Target, or Vitamin ShoppeOr, Giovanni Tea Tree...whichever I can find

Deep Conditioner:
Aubrey Organic Honey Suckle Rose Conditioner

Ingredients:
Coconut fatty acid cream base, organic aloe vera, organic shea butter, wheat germ oil, organic jojoba oil, organic Rosa Mosqueta Rose Hip Seed Oil; extracts of fennel, hops, balm Mint, misltletoe, camomile, yarrow, chrysanthenum, angelica, forsythia and magnolia; honeysuckle oil, carrot oil, Aubrey's Preservstive (citrus seed extract, vitamins A, C and E).

Purchase from:
Whole Foods, Target, or Vitamin Shoppe

Jessicurl Weekly Deep Treatment

Ingredients:
Water infused with Lemongrass, Nettle, Burdock, Kelp, Marshmallow Root, Horsetail, Basil, Bay Leaf, Oregano, Rosemary, Peppermint, Sage and Thyme, Aloe Vera Juice, Behentrimonium Methosulfate and Cetearyl Alcohol, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Glycerin, Lecithin, Fragrance,Diazolidinyl Urea (and) Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate.

Purchase From: www.curlmart.com

Conditioner/Detangler (Rinse-Out):
Herbal Essence's Hello Hydration

Ingredients:
water, stearyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol, stearamidopropyl dimethylamine, vanilla planifolia fruit extract, cocos nucifera (coconut) fruit extract, glutamic acid, fragrance, bisaminopropyl dimethicone, benzyl alcohol, edta, propylene glycol, methylchloroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone, citric acid, blue 1

Purchase from:
Most grocery stores, Walmart, Target, Walgreens, CVS

Conditioner (leave-in/styler):
DevaCare One Condition

Ingredients: Aqueos Extracts of: Achilea Millefolium, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria), Cymbopogon Schoenanthus, Humulus Lupulus (Hops), Melissa Officinalis (Balm Mint), Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary), Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel; Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Behentrimonium Choloride, Amodimethicone, Centrimonium Chloride, Cetyl Esters, Orange Peel Wax, Olive Oil, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Trideceth-12, Diazolidinyl Urea, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Ascorbic Acid, Fragrance, Red 40, Yellow 5.

Purchase From: Ulta, www.curlmart.com

Sealant: 100% Pure Shea Butter- the best darn pomade and moisturizer period. I also dibble and dabble in DevaCurl Set it Free.

I purhcase my Jamila henna HERE.
I purchase my Shea Butter HERE.

DevaCurl on the use of Amodimethicone!

While browsing NaturallyCurly.com last night, I ran across some pretty interesting information about one of my favorite products...it may have become one of your favs as well, so I thought I'd share! Check out what Shari had to say about the DevaCurl line:

Hello Everyone,


I'm Shari Harbinger, Director of Education for DevaCurl, and I am here to set the record straight for those of you who have questioned the ingredients and performance of our brand.

DevaCurl was the first company ever to launch a sulfate free brand dedicated to the curly consumer.However, it is not enough to use a product that is sulfate free. That is just the beginning! We were also the first company ever, in spite of industry ridicule, who went above and beyond the call of " Curl" duty and replaced synthetic detergents and synthetic ingredients with botanically derived ingredients that cleanse and moisturize curly hair. It was an expensive endeavor, but somebody had to do it.We did indeed set the new industry standard and you have all benefited from our efforts. The result? Softer, shinier, healthier, frizz free curls. We found a way to clean and condition the curls without disturbing the hair and scalp's natural moisture balance. That is how we have become YOUR PREMIER CURLY HAIR EXPERTS!

Deva removed the detergent, ( SLS) , the plastics, resins and numerous synthetic agents, most of which weigh the hair down and repel moisture rather than recover the hairs own natural moisture level.

I would like to respond to the question surrounding cones. Any trace amount of a cone that was previously in Deva, has been removed. The reason it was there in the first place, was becuase we were unable to find a botanical replacement. However, I am happy to report that as of January 1st, 2009, DevaCurl is silicone free, paraben free, plastic free, resin free, sulfate free, botanically drenched and considered vegan.We have never tested on animals and we will never test on animals.

**Please note that by law, we have permission to finish any unused labels from 2008, but rest assured, any product that was filled in 2009, even with 2008 labels stands by our promise.

I look forward to your feedback and continued discussions! Enjoy your Deva!

Reference: http://www.naturallycurly.com/curltalk/showthread.php?t=71561


So, what ya think? Good news, right?!

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