All Alcohols Are Not Created Equal

Too often I see people turning away from certain products because of alcohol ingredients. I used to be one of these people before I learned that all alcohol ingredients aren't necessarily bad for your hair.

The Good 
The ingredients that I see most frequently in products include Stearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, and Cetearyl Alcohol. When I see these on ingredients lists they are usually third or fourth on the lists. All three of these are natural fatty alcohols derived from coconut oil. They are widely used as emollients and stabilizing agents in conditioning and moisturizing treatments. These fatty alcohols give back that soft feeling into the hair by helping the cuticle to lie flat on the surface of the hair. They give our hair a soft feeling and manageability! Other good alcohols include Behenyl alcohol, Lauryl alcohol, and Isocetyl alcohol. These are also fatty alcohols that provide softening effects to the hair.

The Bad
The alcohols you do want to watch out for include SD Alcohol 40, Ethanol, SD Alcohol, Propyl, Propanol, and Isopropyl. These alcohols are used as solvent and they cause products to evaporate quickly. Because of this quality, these ingredients can be very drying to the hair. They can be the culprits of breakage and frizzy hair.

So before you decide to stay clear of products with alcohol in it, try and become familiar with the alcohols that are good and those that are bad. Once I became familiar with these names there were so many more products that I could try out (like i need any more products...). I like to keep a list of ingredients commonly found in hair products handy so that when I am out looking for new things to try out I can make sense of ingredients I do not recognize. The list that I keep bookmarked can be found here 

The products that you are avoiding may be the products that your hair loves!


Homemade Deep Conditioner: Greek Yogurt Hair Mask

Ingredients used: olive oil plain Greek yogurt, pure honey
I did not have any deep conditioner left for this past wash day nor did I want to go out and buy any, so I decided to try a homemade deep conditioner. I remembered watching a couple of video on Youtube about great results from using yogurt as a deep conditioner and I happened to have plain greek yogurt that I know I would not eat any time soon so I decided to put it to good use. Benefits of yogurt include providing shine, reducing frizz, detangling hair.Yogurt does contain protein and so its properties will help in strengthening hair. It's antibacterial properties will help to soothe the scalp and reduce itchiness. Some people like to add egg to yogurt to boost its potential as a protein treatment and some like to add oils and conditioner for moisturizing purposes. I needed a balance of protein and moisture but a little more on the moisture side so I added honey and olive oil to my Greek yogurt. 

I used about 2 about 3/4 of the container of Greek yogurt, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and one tablespoon of pure honey. I mixed the ingredients until I got a nice consistency.

After prepooing with coconut oil and then shampooing, I applied the yogurt mask to my hair in four sections. The mixture was very thick and went on like a mask would. 

I left the mix on under a plastic cap for about an hour while I watched Scandal (phenomenal show!) and then rinsed my hair out with warm water. As I rinsed, my hair felt very soft and moisturized. I was able to finger detangle in the shower and it didn't take much effort because the mask did a good job at separating the hair strands from each other. I did not like the smell of the yogurt in my hair so after rinsing and detangling in the shower I applied Suave Keratin Smoothing conditioner to rid of the smell.  After towel drying, my hair felt very soft and I did notice a very nice shine. 

I am very excited about this homemade conditioner and it is definitely a mix I would use if I don't have my favorite deep conditioners around or I just need a change.  The yogurt definitely detangles, moisturizes and brings great shine to my hair. The one thing I don't like is the smell of the yogurt. The next time I try this yogurt mask I will add an essential oil to mask the smell. 

Have any of you tried a homemade yogurt deep conditioner before? How did you like it?


21 Hair Questions Tag

I have been tagged by Kim at FancyFlairLady to do the 21 Hair Questions Tag. Thanks so much for tagging me, Kim! I tag anyone who reads this post! If you don't have a blog leave your answers below because I would love to know your answers!

1. Why did you start taking better care of your hair?
In the summer of 2010, I wanted a new style so i cut a bob and loved it. I wasn't too happy with the thickness of my hair though, so I started researching how to get it thicker. Researching online opened a whole new realm for me (Youtube, blogs, forurms, etc.) and I was inspired to start a hair jounrey. What really got me going though was a little later in 2010 when I went to a new salon to get a touch up and layers and the lady gave me a hair cut that I absolutely hated. At that point I got really serious about growing my hair long and healthy...

2. What are your 2 favorite hair products?
Grapeseed oil and Elasta QP Oilve Oil and Mango Butter

3. Who's hair did you admire as a child?
A cousin of mine. Her hair was always so thick and healthy

4. What is your ultimate goal length?
Waist Length

5. How are you going to celebrate when you reach your ultimate goal length?
I am probably going to straighten my hair and swing it all about the place all day long.

6. Two styles you want to try at your goal length?
Flexi rod roller sets and a big fat fishtail braid (I love them!)

7. Which do you prefer: Health or Length?
Definitely health

8. Which do you prefer: hair ties with no metal parts or butterfly clips?
I use hair ties most of the time, but recently I have been using banana clip and I think I prefer those.

9. What products do you prefer: salon brands, organic brands, BSS brands, Drugstore brands, or other?
I don't think I can chose one. I have tried all types of different products and have liked a good amount of them.

10. Which product/technique do you think is over-rated?
Green-house effect. It makes my hair too mushy. I prefer to just baggy my ends.

11. Which product/technique do you think is under-rated?
Oil rinsing. The process helps me to seal in a lot of moisture

12. What is your favorite part of your hair regimen?

13. What is the most annoying part of your hair regimen?

14. Oils or Butters?

15. Buns or Ponytails?

16. Wigs or Weaves?

17. What is your opinion of growth aids?
I haven't tried too many. But I think its the techniques you use with the growth aids that promote your hair growth and not just the product itself....that applies to any hair product though...

18. At what length do you consider hair long?

19. When is the last time you visited a salon?
October 2011

20. What do you like to surf most often: YouTube channels, personal blogs, or hair forums? 
It may be a tie between YouTube and blogs. I am a visual learner but I like reading about people's personal experiences.

21. And finally, what piece of advice would you give to someone just starting out on their hair journey?
Try and keep your journey simple, remember that health is much better than length, and try and be patient.

Tag! You're it...

"It's Really Not That Serious": Keep Your Hair Journey Simple

Sometimes we just need a reminder that our hair journeys do not have to be too complicated. We can reach our goals with simple regimens and simple products. As I was catching up on YouTube videos I came across an uplifting video by Shlinda1. She talks about how to have a successful hair journey on a budget and I don't think I could have put it into words any better. She has a great personality and is one is one of my favorite Youtubers to watch! Enjoy!


Wash Day Traditions- Nails

It is pretty common after a wash day that I will change up my nail color. I guess it has become a sort of tradition. The only times I don't do my nails on a wash day is if I am way too busy with school stuff or it is a really quick cowashing day. I have a pretty extensive polish collection so I like to change up the colors often. This wash day I went with China Glaze "Secret Periwinkle."

I will try and share my nail of the wash day (NOTWD) with you all as often as I can remember to take a picture. Lol! Nails are my second favorite beauty obsession. Of course hair is my first!

Do you have any wash day traditions?

Wash Day- Another Rollerset

I wanted to wear my hair down for the Thanksgiving holiday, but I was opposed to straightening it. I had an entire day to myself so I felt like it was a great opportunity to practice rollersetting again (the traditional way-- as opposed to the ponytail method). First I...

  1. Prepooed overnight with castor oil on my scalp and Organix Macadamia Oil Hydrating Mask on the length of my hair
  2. I shampooed my hair with Kera Minerals Smoothing Shampoo
  3. Applied Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion Smoothing Conditioner and left it on my hair for 5 minutes before rinsing
  4. Deep conditioned for about 3 hours with Kera Pro Restorative Treatment under my heating cap
  5. Did a clear rinse with Jazzing Clear Rinse
  6. T-shirt blotted my hair before adding leave ins Aphogee Keratin Green Tea Reconstructurizer and Creme of Nature Argan Oil Leave In
  7. I applied Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion Serum before detangling.
  8. Rollerset my hair in four sections
Rollersetting the traditional way is still difficult for me. I always feel like I don't have enough space and after a while all of the roller are pushing against each other so that the roots don't stay taut enough. Here's what it was looking like after 45 minutes of setting the rollers...

Some of the rollers had too much hair on them. It was a situation where I had a section where I couldn't put two rollers  because there wasn't enough space, but it was too much hair in the section to go on the roller smoothly. After rolling and re-rolling some sections I gave up and went under the dryer. After 90 minutes here's how the set came out...
So it wasn't tragic! The ends set really nicely however since the rollers weren't placed strategically enough for the roots to stay taut, my roots stayed pretty textured. Even though I wanted to stay away from the straightening, I decided that straightening only my roots wasn't as bad as going through the length of my hair and ends. After doing only one pass on 320 degrees through my roots with my GVP straightener here is what I got...
 Overall I was pleased! Going through and sectioning my hair to straighten my roots made my hair a little frizzy so I applied some more serum. I really loved how soft and bouncy my hair was. I do wish that I used Lottabody setting lotion this time around because I could tell that my hair was going to frizz up really soon (the Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion Serum didn't do the best job at minimizing the frizz-- then again I didn't apply too much of it). When I used Lottabody with my previous ponytail set I got very little frizz and the set lasted a while. Next rollerset I will use it again. 

Practicing rolleseting is showing some improvement in my skill. I have a little bit more patience for the process and I am excited for the next time I rollerset.

Quick comment about the clear rinse...
I am loving the clear rinsing! My hair is so smooth and easy to detangle after I rinse it out. While combing through my hair with a fine tooth comb for the rollersetting process there was very little hair coming out. I as very pleased and I wish I could do the rinse every week lol. It is definitely going to be a staple in my regimen. Does anyone know how frequently I can do these clear rinses? I'm thinking every 6 washes?

Have you been practicing your rollersetting lately? How's it going?


Product Review: Carol's Daughter Monoi Repairing Collection

I am finally reviewing the Carol's Daughter Monoi starter kit! I bought the starter kit from Macy's at the end of August for $24.00 and I do not regret making this purchase!

The starting kit includes:

  • Monoi Repairing Shampoo, 2 fl oz
  • Monoi Repairing Conditioner, 2 fl oz
  • Monoi Repairing Hair Mask, 2 oz

  • The kit promises:
    • 96% Less Breakage. After 1 Use, 13x Stronger Hair.
    • Stronger, longer, invincible hair for over-processed, overheated and over-stressed brittle hair. 
    Highlighted Ingredients (full list of ingredients at the end of this post):
    • Monoi Oil: Intensely conditions hair.
    • Bamboo Water: Helps to reinforce hair's structure.
    • Hydrolyzed Silk: Helps fortify hair against future damage.
    • Hibiscus Extract: Helps to quickly detangle any hair type, but especially delicate, damaged hair. 

    At first I felt like the sample sizes were way too small but I got about three uses out of the hair mask, about five uses out of the conditioner, and I just recently finished the shampoo (I am not heavy handed with shampoo) after definitely more than seven uses. Overall I am extremely happy with the kit but I will break this review down into pros and cons.

    Pros: The smell of the products is absolutely amazing! In my opinion it has a sort of tropical relaxing smell. I know that can mean different things for different people, but whenever I smell the product I think of being in the Caribbean. The smell might be my favorite aspect of the products. The shampoo is sulfate-free which is always great because it does not strip the hair, but this does mean that there was no lather. After shampooing my hair it felt so moisturized! I didn't even feel like I needed to deep condition afterwards because my hair had a good amount of slip and it felt super hydrated. I have never come across a shampoo that has made my hair feel so soft. 

    I also really liked the hair mask. It had a very thick consistency and went onto my hair really nicely. After washing the mask out I could not get over how soft my hair was! The mask also gave really great shine to my  hair. While detangling in the shower (which was a breeze), after washing the mask out, I got very little breakage and my hair did feel very strong. I really appreciate the combination of monoi, bamboo, hydrolyzed silk, and hibiscus because they all seemed to work well together to get my hair soft and manageable enough for me to avoid damage. Days after my wash day with the Monoi products, I still got whiffs of the tropical scent which I loved! 

    The products also have no parabens, no sulfates, and no mineral oil, and no artificial coloring!

    Cons: I don't think the conditioner did too much for me. When I used it after the shampoo, my hair felt soft but no softer than the shampoo had already made my hair feel. In my opinion, I could've done without the conditioner. In fact, once the shampoo ran out and I had to use the shampoo alone, my hair was super soft. I didn't need to follow up with a rinse out conditioner after using the shampoo. 

    Measuring the claim of "96% less breakage and "13x stronger hair" is pretty tricky, I don't know how Carol's Daughter expects their customers to measure such a thing, but it seems like a great way to get people to buy the product. I did experience less breakage and my hair did feel much stronger after using the products but I don't know if I would go so far to say that I got 96% less breakage and 13x stronger hair. 

    The kit was sort of pricey and the full size products are even pricier. It makes me want to search for products that work just as good for a cheaper price.....put the amazing smell though....

    Overall: I would definitely repurchase the Monoi shampoo and repairing mask but I would hold off on the conditioner. The great smell that the products have and the strength that it gives my hair makes it worth spending the money. 


    Monoi Repairing Hair Mask: Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Glycerin, Cetyl Esters, Dimethicone, Fragrance (Parfum), Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oiol, Gardenia Tahitensis Flower Extract, Cyclopentasiloxane, Isohexadecane, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Orbignya Oleifera Seed Oil, Moringa Pterygosperma Seed Oil, Phyllostachis Bambusoides Juice, Hydrolyzed Hibiscus Esculentus Extract, Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccaride, Helianthus Annus (Sunflower) Seed Extrac, Panthenol (Pro-vitamin B5), Cetrimonium Chloride, Cetrimonium Phenyl Trimethicone, Dimethiconol, Octyldodecanol, Ceteareth-20, Quarternium-91, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Methylisothiazolinone.

    Monoi Repairing Shampoo: Water, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, PEG-150 Distearate, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Decyl Glucoside, Sodium Lauroyl Oat Amino Acids, Coconut Oil Glycereth-8 Esters, Shea Butter Glycereth-8 Esters, Polyglyceryl-3 Laurate, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Gardenia Tahitensis Flower Extract, Orbignya Oleifera Seed Oil, Phyllostachis Bambusoides Juice, Moringa Pterygosperma Seed Extract, Helianthus Annuus(Sunflower) Seed Extract, Hydrolyzed Hibiscus Esculentus Extract, Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide, Hydrolyzed Silk, Panthenol (Pro-vitamin B5), Glycerin, Glycol Distearate, Cinnamidopropyltrimonium Chloride, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Quaternium-91, PPG-3 Benzyl Ether Myristate, Disodium EDTA, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol, Methylisothiazolinone, Fragrance.

    Monoi Repairing Conditioner: Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Glycerin, Isododecane, Fragrance (Parfum), Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Isohexadecane, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Gardenia Tahitensis Flower Extract, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Orbignya Oleifera Seed Oil, Moringa Pterygosperma Seed Oil, Phyllostachis Bambusoides Juice, Hydrogenated Coco-Glycerides, Hydrolyzed Silk, Hydrolyzed Hibiscus Esculentus Extract, Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Extract, Panthenol (Pro-vitamin B5), Cetrimonium Chloride, Cetrimonium Methosulfate, Cinnamidopropyltrimonium Chloride, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Octyldodecanol, Ceteareth-20, Quaternium-91, Citric Acid, Tetrasodium EDTA, Sorbic Acid, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol, Methylisothiazolinone.


    Texlax Update

    I texlaxed this past Thursday (at 13 weeks post) because I was having trouble dealing with my new growth. In a effort to avoid any excessive breakage I texlaxed earlier than usual. I used the half and half method with ORS Lye relaxer and only left the relaxer in for 11 minutes this time around. The last time I texlaxed the results (pictured below) were too straight.

    Previous relaxer (August 2011)

    So this time around I made an effort to leave a lot of texture in. Here were the results I got this time around.

    There is just the right amount of texture left. I can comb through it much easier now without it being completely straight. I am trying really hard not to worry about length right now so after neutralizing, deep conditioning, and leave ins I decided not to straighten my hair. Instead, I air-dried in a bun over night and tied my hair down with a silk scarf.  

     Air dried bun in the morning. It was only about 60% dry.

    I'm satisfied with the results. I might not stretch too long anymore because I enjoy getting through my hair with ease. I may take my stretched from 4 months down to three. 

    I am trying not to length check until the end of December. At that point I am thinking of cutting off an inch of hair. The goal is to get as much relaxed ends gone as possible by graduation (May 2013).. 


    Success?: Another Attempt at a Ponytail Rollerset

     Yesterday I decided to try another ponytail rollerset. My first attempt didn't go so well because I didn't use enough rollers and I didn't let the set dry completely. This time I had some extra patience so I gave it a try. After I deep conditioned, shampooed, put in my liquid leave in conditioners, and detangled, I went ahead with the rollerset using the items pictured below.

    I put in 8 ponytails (three at the front, three in the middle, and two at my nape) using ouchless ponytail holders. Before rolling the ponytails, I sprayed my hair with a mixture of 3 parts water and 1 part Lottabody Setting Lotion. I hadn't used setting lotion in my previous attempts at rollersetting, but I thought that since my hair likes to frizz up I could use some extra hold. I smoothed my already detangled hair with a rat tail comb and I used two rollers per ponytail. I sat under my Gold 'n' Hot Elite Ionic Stand Bonnet Dryer (which I love and will do a post on soon) for an hour before I took a break and went back under for about 20 minutes. My hair felt completely dry at this point, but to be safe I went to sleep in the rollers before taking any out. Surprisingly, sleeping in the rollers wasn't too uncomfortable.  

    Here's what I got when I took the rollers out in the morning. Not much frizz and everything was dry! I noticed that some ponytails would've come out even smoother if I put three rollers as opposed to two but overall I was happy with the progress! At first, I thought the setting lotion has my hair too  crispy feeling, but after I fingered through the curls it wasn't crispy at all.

    When I took off the ponytail holders there was a pretty apparent crease. I didn't have time to try and do a saran wrap to get rid of the creases, but I also didn't want to comb through my roots to wrap it because my new growth is crazy.

    I decided to finger comb the sections out and wear it curly. The creases were a little more apparent on the left side so I pinned my hear back to camouflage. I think i'm getting better! As far as the 12 week post roots, I decided to let them be. I'm trying to use the least amount of direct heat as possible.



    That's That Stuff I Don't Like Hair Bloggers Edition

    I don't know if you all have been watching 'That's That Stuff I Don't Like' tag videos on YouTube but I sure have. Youtubers have been talking about all types of pet peeves and it is so funny to watch! I thought it would be fun to take the tag to my blog because, since I am a slave to academia, I don't have much time to record and edit a video. So this will be the That's That Stuff I Don't Like Hair Bloggers Edition.

    1. I don't like it when people touch my hair. I'm not talking about the very light petting or polite caressing... that's fine...I mean more of the running unfamiliar fingers through my strands and invading my scalp...I don't like it...

    2. I don't like products with mineral oil in it. They weigh my hair down and they do nothing for the healthy of my hair. They only act as temporary fixers...

    3. I do not like it when I invest in a hair product that has been raved about and then it gives my hair zero life. This has nothing to do with the people that rave about the product...its more so me being mad at myself for not sticking to what works for me....I don't like wasting money...

    4. I don't like when I am looking through products like Tressemme, Suave, or Herbal Essences in the hair aisle in Walmart or Target and I get questionable stares from people who don't look like me. I just want to say "Yes, 'your' products work for me too..."

    5. I don't like when people ask me why I wash my hair so makes me want to ask them 'why do you wash your body so often?'

    6. I do not like VO5 conditioners. I know that its almost everyone's favorite cowash conditioners but they dry my hair out more than any other conditioner I have tried. I prefer Suave.

    7. I do not like natural hair nazis. Can we educate each other about healthy hair in general and not try to convince others that some hair textures are better than others?

    8. I do not like when the plastic from bobby pins get stuck in my hair. It really annoys me to see those little black things falling out of hair on detangling days. I haven't found a brand of bobby pins that don't deteriorate with every use...or maybe I'm not willing to pay for the ones that don't.

    9. I don't like it when everyone chooses their new hair cut or color based on the newest celebrity fad. I love Rihanna just as much as the next girl but everyone does not need to look like her..

    10. I don't like it when I go on very detailed rants about how great a product is and how much it give me life and all my boyfriend says is "O that's nice baby..."

    That's That Stuff I Don't Like....

    I tag...

    Jeni at Just Grow Already
    EbonyCPrincess at Longing 4 Length
    Shika at Hair I Am World
    Yulli Blue at Caught Between a Cream and a Curl
    Lesley at Fresh Lengths
    Amber C. at Hair Mary
    Southern Girl at Pecan Pie and Pin Curls
    Nadine at Textured Strands
    Sdestra at Sdestra Hair Journey
    Tracyee at Keep It Simple Sista

    And anyone else who wants to do this tag!

    What's the stuff you don't like?


    Twisted and Bunned

    This week I knew I wasn't going to have any time for my hair, so at the beginning of the week I decided that I was going to put my hair into individual twists and not touch it (other than to moisturize it) until the end of the week. I pre-poo'd with ORS Hair Mayonnaise and then washed my hair with Carol's Daughter Monoi Repairing Shampoo. I then deep conditioned with Organix Hydrating Macadamia Oil Intensive Moisture Mask (which I will do a review on soon because I love it!) and did a final rinse with Roux Porosity Control. I t-shirt dried my hair for about 20 minutes, applied Cantu Shea Butter Leave In and the last bit of my Moroccan Oil before I air-dried. Once my hair was about 80% dry I started twisting medium to small sized twists and I applied a pinch of Carol's Daughter Healthy Hair Butter to each section before twisting it.

    Throughout the week I didn't have to moisturize too much because the Carol's Daughter Hair Butter kept my hair so moisturized. The product has a very thick consistency which helped to keep the twist from unraveling and it left my hair with great shine. Despite it's thick consistency it did not weight my hair down. I've been using this product for a while but I still don't know how I feel about the 'earthy' smell that it has. The smell doesn't bother me enough to stop using it because it really keeps my hair in great condition and it has some great oils in it! I will do a review in the near future.

    I put the twists in a sock bun for most of the week and sprayed my new growth (which is getting out of hand) with S-Curl at night. I may do these twists more often because I didn't have to manipulate my hair much so I didn't see any broken hairs all week long!


    Two Years and Counting!

    Although I should have posted this on Friday there is no time like the present!

    This past Friday, October 26th, 2012 was my 2 year hair journiversary (how I refer to the anniversary of the beginning of my hair journey).

    Two years ago from Friday I decided that I wanted healthy, long, and thick hair and I wanted to do it by myself. I am so excited that I have stayed committed for this long and that I am seeing great results! I have had some problems along the way (some breakage here, some dry ends there), but overall I have learned so much about my hair and hair in general.

    There is so much more to learn and so much more to do. I am on a 4 year plan to mid back length hair and I definitely plan on continuing on with my healthy hair habits after the 4 years is up. Taking care of my hair has become a habit now. Its a necessary process, almost like brushing my teeth or taking a shower. Below I have listed some goals that I want to meet in the next two years:
    • Minimal to no split ends
    • Master 4 month stretches
    • Combat my dry and itchy scalp
    • Improve my roller setting skills
    • Full BSL by October 2013 (hopefully with very little relaxed ends left)
    • Full MBL by October 2014 
    For my hair journiversary my wonderful boyfriend made me a new banner for my blog. I love it! He's is the best! Not only for the perfect banner but also for his support. I know he gets tired of hearing me talk about hair but he is still one of my biggest supporters <3. Do you like the new banner?


    Bantu Knot Out

    I didn't want to look at my ends for too long while my hair was straight (referencing previous post) so the next night I put bantu knots in my hair. I moisturized my hair with Elasta QP Olive Oil and Mango Butter Moisturizer and then sealed with jojoba oil. 

    I put in 5 bantu knots, secured them with a pin and then the next morning here are the results I got. 

    Loved it! I enjoy bantu knot outs, but only when they are done on straight and dry hair. Under any other condition it is always a fail for me.

    Don't Rush Perfection

    This past weekend I had a formal event to go to so I decided to straighten my hair. I hadn't straightened my hair since my last texlax so I was excited for it. I also wanted to try a black rinse...If you go a couple of posts back you will see that I tried the Jazzing Clear Rinse and it worked so well for me! This time around I wanted to try a color rinse so I did my research and decided on the Clairol Professional Beautiful Collection in Jet Black Base Ash. My hair day plan was as follows:
    • Prepoo with Coconut Oil
    • Shampoo with Kera Minerals Smoothing Shampoo
    • Deep Condition with some concoction (it ended up being Shea Butter and Almond Suave Professionals with a bunch of oils) because I was out of deep conditioner.
    • Color Rinse
    • T-Shirt dry
    • Add leave ins and heat protectant
    • Blow dry
    • Straighten and Curl
    Here's the thing... every time I have an event to go to as opposed to a regular outing, I am all over the place. I never set aside enough time and I always forget to do things until the last minute. Since I know myself so well, I purposely set aside 6 hours to do my hair but of course I forgot to get jewelry and I needed to go and help my boyfriend pick out a tie so I ended up only having 4 hours to do my hair. Sounds like a lot of time but it most definitely wasn't. I went through with my plan listed above but notice I didn't put how long I did each thing. I only deep conditioned for about 15 mins under a dryer which is the shortest time i have ever deep conditioned so my hair wasn't moisturized enough. I forgot to detangle my hair after washing the deep conditioner out in the shower so after I applied the black rinse my hair was super tangled. My carelessness made detangling very say the least. I lost more hair than I am used to and it just put me in a horrible mood. I went on to blow dry (which I have to take out of my hair habits because my hair rebels when it comes into contact with a blow dryer) and then straighten and curl.

    As I was straightening I noticed that my hair was very dry. I didn't get the silky and flowy results that I usually get when I straighten. At first I didn't know what to blame: my almost nonexistent deep conditioning or the black rinse. I decided to chuck it up to the deep conditioning partially because I loved how the black rinse came out. However, there are some people who had some bad reviews on the Clairol line of color rinse saying that it was very drying. I don't think i will give a review until i try it again in the future with proper deep conditioning.

    After straightening I put in big curls with my 2 inch Hot Tools curling iron and i pinned up the curls while I got ready for the event. I didn't have any hairspray and the curls fell no more than an hour after I took them down (i'm not really a fan of this curling iron). I don't have any pictures of how my hair looked right after I did it, but I do  have pictures of my hair taken during the event. It got frizzy really quick..but it's ok.
    Something I noticed while my hair was straight is my ends are just unacceptable.  I am trying to ease into cutting off my bone straight ends but I don't know if I can live with the appearance of scraggly ends. I am either going to cut a good amount of my relaxed ends off soon, or I am not going to wear my hair straight for a while. What do you all think?

    The picture on bottom right corner was taken toward the end of the night. You can see the unacceptable ends I am talking about. :-/

    All in all, I should have taken my time doing my hair and I would've gotten the results that I was going can't rush perfection you know. I also would not have had the tangling and hair loss problems. Next time the boyfriend can go find his tie on his own. Lol. I don't mind how thick my hair looks though..don't mind at all. I also really like the black hair..I feel like my natural hair color can blend in with my skin tone sometimes lol. Some people can't even tell I did a rinse.. but I know the difference.


    A Short-Lived Style: Crochet Braids

    This past weekend I tried a new style! Crochet Braids! Crochet braiding is a technique of installing synthetic braiding hair into your braided hair using a crochet or latch hook needle. I had seen a couple of ladies on YouTube attempt this style and it caught my interest so I thought I'd give it a try.  I didn't do a tutorial only because there are so many great tutorials out there. The tutorial I followed can be found on ToysVoice's YouTube channel. She does a really great job at explaining how to install the crochet braids and her install came out beautifully.

    The hair I used to do my crochet braids was the Freetress Water Wave Bulk Hair in 1B and 1B/30. I used 2 1/2 packs of hair. I cornrowed almost all of my hair straight back except for the hair around where I wanted my side-part. Here I braided my hair at a slant going toward my ears on either side of the part ( i am sorry I have no picture of that, I was in a rush!). While braiding my hair I moisturized with Elasta QP Olive Oil and Mango Butter Moisturizer and sealed with Carol's Daughter Hair Balm (love). After braiding, I proceed to crochet the hair in with a crochet I purchased at Walmart for $2.49. Installing the braids only took me 2 1/2 hours.

    Here are some pictures of the crochet braids...

    I liked it. I didn't love it though. There was nothing wrong with the style but for some reason I did not feel like I was in the 'mood' for such curly hair. This surprised me because I usually love big and curly hair! Because of this feeling, I told myself that I wouldn't keep them in too long. I didn't have to do much more convincing either because after a day of wearing the braids made my face feel really itchy. I have sensitive skin, but I didn't think that the braids would be so irritating (especially since I used to wear braids in the past).  It was was concerned for my skin so i planned to take them out after the weekend was over. My boyfriend really liked the style, so i let him enjoy it for a couple days lol! (he is the photographer by the way...). Something else that made me want to take the braids out asap is that when I was cornrowing my hair in preparation for the install I noticed my hair was pretty dry, even after moisturizing and sealing. My hair did not seem to be retaining any moisture. I still installed the braids because I was excited for the new style. I felt guilty, so again, I had no problem taking out the braids after the weekend.


    I've Been Nominated!

    I have been nominated for the Versatile blogger award! Three times! These nominations are my firsts so thank you to Southern GirlDarrylon Evans, and Sdestra for reading my blog and nominating me! It's great to know that there are people who read and enjoy Pound Cake! 

    As a nominee I have to:  

    1. Thank the Blogger that nominated me.  
    2. Share 7 random facts about me.
    3. Nominate 15 bloggers who are relatively new to blogging.
    4. Let nominated bloggers know they have been nominated.
    5. Add the Versatile Blogger Award to my post. 


    7 Random Facts About Me!

    • Black and white is my favorite color combination.
    • My favorite TV shows are My Wife and Kids (hilarious) and Desperate Housewives.
    • I love research.
    • I am of Haitian heritage.
    • My favorite meal if brown rice and oxtail or white rice, sous pois and oxtail (both when my mother makes it)
    •  I have a chicken chest
    • I change my nail color every 5 days

    I Nominate...


    Mobile Post: Braidout Fail

    My braidout didn't finish drying overnight and as a result I will be walking around with a puff for a while. *shrug* no biggie.


    Wash Day: Carol's Daughter Monoi Collection, Clear Rinse, and a Failed Ponytail Roller Set

    This wash day was interesting. I broke some rules. I had some success, and I had some failures.

    Broken Rules
    I tried a new product. Two actually. I just recently told myself that I did not need to stray from my staple products because I know that they work well...So what had happened was....I was walking through Macy's and stopped by the Carol's Daughter section to look at some products (just out of curiosity..I had not intentions on buying anything). My mistake was taking one of the products form the Monoi line and smelling it. This line smells amazing!! It also had some great ingredients (Monoi Oil, Bamboo Water, Hydrolyzed Silk, Hibiscus Extract). And I had a gift card! :-) I was I bought the starter kit. Bad bad girl. Well the deed is done. I'll tell you how the kit worked for me later.

    Carol's Daughter Monoi Repairing Collection 3-Piece Starter Kit

    The second product I tried was Jazzing Clear Rinse. I bought this product a while ago after reading EbonyCPrincess's post about it, but I never used it. I kept it in the back of my cabinet..that is until I couldn't find plastic caps and I was digging for them in the back of my cabinet. I saw the rinse and thought "oooo I could use some shine and sealed cuticles..mhm." Smh..

    Anyways... here is how the wash day went..

    1. Shampooed with Carol's Daughter Monoi Sulfate-free Shampoo (2x)
    2. Conditioned with Carol's Daughter Monoi Conditioner and left it in my hair for about 3 mins and rinsed.
    3. Applied Keratin 2 min for about 5 minutes and rinsed. 
    4. Towel dried and then applied the Carol's Daughter Monoi Repairing Hair Mask and left in on for about an hour and a half (30 mins of that time under my hooded dryer). Rinsed.
    5. I then applied the Jazzing Clear Rinse to my hair and processed it under my dryer for 15 mins and then rinsed.
    6. After t-shirt drying for 5 mins, I applied Aphogee Keratin & Green Tea Reconstructorizer and Aphogee Pro Vitamin Leave-In Conditioner. I then applied a quarter size of Gernier Fructis sleek and shine serum to my hair for the next step which was...
    7. I attempted a ponytail roller set and then wrapped my hair. 

    It was actually a really long wash day...

    My first impression of the Carols Daughter Monoi line was great! The product promises 13x longer life after one use and prevention of breakage by  96%. Because of such a huge promise I was excited to try the product! The shampoo made my hair feel so soft and manageable which is not something that is often said about a shampoo. The shampoo is sulfate-free so it did not sud up but it did a great job at cleansing my scalp. The conditioner gave my hair a good amount of slip. I was able to run my shower comb through my hair with very almost no problem. After towel drying my hair I felt like I didn't even need to deep condition! But I went ahead and used the Repairing Hair Mask. I liked how thick the product was and I didn't have to use a lot of it to coat my hair. After rinsing out the mask my hair felt so strong! But soft at the same time! I loved it! Let me not forget to mention that the Monoi line smells so good! The smell definitely tops any hair product I've ever used. I wish I could have the sent as a body splash or a wallflower or something. Lol. But I don't want to go into any more detail until I try the products again. My first impression was a great one though!

    The clear rinse also had my hair feeling extremely smooth! Detangling was a breeze. There was nothing to detangle really. It also gave my hair a very nice sheen! To see more details on the benefits of clear rinses, read EbonyCPrincess's post about it! I will try this product again in the future and do a full review.

    The ponytail roller set was definitely easier than the traditional mohawk that I fail at very often. I put my hair into six ponytails and placed 2-3 rollers on each ponytail and then went under the dryer. I spent 2 hours under the dryer which I didn't mind because I was also doing some crochet braids for my mom while I was under there.

    Seemed like it was going fine..

    After 2 hours I took out the rollers and the ponytail. Most of my hair was dry. The back to ponytail were still pretty damp though. I think this is mostly due to how horrible my hooded dryer is. 

    My hair didn't come out as planned. Some part were smooth and others weren't. I probably need to use more rollers. Ugh. I cant even get roller sets right when I cheat! Lol. I just wrapped my hair and went to sleep. :-/

    Not exactly the look I was going for..I'll keep practicing.

    Enough about me.. how did your most recent wash day go?


    I Am APL!! Texlaxed at 16 Weeks Post and Hair Update

    I relaxed my hair on Saturday just in time for my summer challenge. Around April I had challenged myself (and my boyfriend challenged me) to reach APL by August 12th. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of what my length was in April but I was between full SL and APL. I was hoping to reach APL by August 12th so that when i get to my hair journiversary date (October 26th) I would be full APL. So, did I do it.? Here's how the day went...

    1. Sectioned my hair into four sections and based my scalp with vaseline.
    2. Applied castor oil onto my already processed hair and then roux porosity control conditioner on top. 
    3. Parted and clipped 1 inch sections within those four parts. (My mom was helping me out with this texlax. She was going to work on the back two sections while i did the front two... so the clips were placed right where she was to stop applying relaxer...a little below the demarcation line. The part of my hair that was already processed was already protected with castor oil and roux porosity control so if she got relaxer on the processed hair I wouldn't have to have a heart attack. She didn't mess up, thankfully!)
    4. Set my timer for 12 minutes
    5. Applied the relaxer (ORS lye relaxer in normal strength) to my new growth for about 8 minutes and smoothed for about 4 minutes. 
    6. Rinsed out the relaxer for about 5 minutes
    7. Applied Keratin 2 minute protein treatment for 5 minutes then rinsed.
    8. Neutralized with ORS Creamy Shampoo 3 times and rinsed
    9. T-shirt dried for about 5 minutes
    10. Applied ORS Replenishing Conditioner for 30 minutes with heat and rinsed.
    11. Applied Aphogee Keratin and Green Tea and Aphogee Pro Vitamin Leave In Conditioner. 
    12. Air dried for 30 minutes, blow dried, and straightened with one pass only. 

    whew.. that was alot..

    Throughout the whole process I was so anxious to see how my hair was doing! I hadn't straightened my hair all summer and I wanted to know if i made APL. And I did! I was so excited. I knew from the time I was washing the relaxer out that my hair was noticeably longer. As I straightened my hair nothing could take a huge cheesy smile off of my face. I could not believe it. I actually surpassed my goal for August; I found that I was about an inch passed APL! I must have done the happy dance in my bathroom for a good 10 minutes straight. I screamed for my brother to come see, I called my boyfriend, I jumped around with my mom, I celebrated with all of my biggest supporters. LOL! You would've thought i just won the lotto. Lol. But seriously.. I was very excited for my little milestone.

    August 2012 Length Check (APL)
    Although I met my goal, there were still some concerns. My ends were acting weird. They were a little more dry than the rest of my hair. They almost felt as if they had heat damage which didn't make sense to me because I had not been putting heat on my ends. I also noticed that I needed a serious trim...So I trimmed off about 1/2 an inch but it didn't make a difference..I wasn't ready to cut off any more inches right now though...I'll save that for October. I am going to need to make a serious game plan for my ends and I want to start by roller setting more often but it is just so hard for me :-(

    I also noticed that my hair processed a little more straight than I wished for it to. I didn't leave the relaxer in for any longer than usual but I think I did spend more time smoothing than usual. I am thinking it appears so straight because the relaxer is so fresh? Maybe i'll see some more of texture for my next wash? I hope so. 

    Wet Texture Shot

    All in all i'm happy! I met my goals and I see my progress! As you can see in my wet shot, I do have a good amount of relaxed ends left over from before I started texlaxing. I will hopefully be able to trim off a good amount of my bone straight ends in October and still be Full APL. Right on schedule!

    Length Check Comparison (Feb '12/Feb'12)

    Unfortunately I don't have any pictures from my April relaxer. I had relaxed early at 8 weeks because my new growth was out of control. My back half had not processed much because I had to wash it out after about 3 minutes because my scalp was burning a little. I didnt even straighten for that relaxer. I just air dried and bunned. Anyways...moving on...

    Comparison Wet Shots (Dec. '11/Aug '12)
    I am so happy that I found this wet shot in my picture folder on my computer. I forgot I even had it! This reminds me to always remember to take pictures!

    All smiles :-)


    13 Weeks Post and I Can't Wait to Texlax

    Happy Monday!
    For yesterday's wash day I..

    1. Prepooed with coconut oil for  30 mins under a heating cap.
    2. Clarified with VO5 clarifying shampoo
    3. Deep conditioned with Kera Minerals Smoothing Conditioner for 2 hours under a heating cap.
    4. Black tea rinse
    5. Porosity control for 30 secs.
    6. T-shirt dried for 30 mins.
    7. Added S-curl to my new growth and Cantu leave in and argan oil to the length of my hair for my leave-ins and air dried under a silk scarf.

    Everything went really well. I had minimal shedding and some tangling. The Kera Mineral conditioner gives me so much slip so detangling  in the shower was not as bad as it usually is at 13 weeks post. I thought the s-curl would make my new growth dry a lot softer than it did though. It moisturizes my new growth so well during the week but as a leave-in it was a little weak. Maybe I didn't put enough...

    Cantu Shea butter leave-in conditioner is an old staple of mine. I decided to repurchase it because (1) I'm trying to go back to old staples that worked for me before I became a product junkie and (2) as i get deeper into my stretch I do experience more breakage at the demarcation line and I was hoping that a protein leave- in would combat that.

    I only have 3 more weeks left in my stretch! Hopefully I don't get too much breakage between now and 3 weeks from now. I am trying to make it to APL by August 12 and Full APL by October 26th (2 year hair journiversary!) I know I'm a slow grower, so I always give myself some time to reach my hair goals.

    Here's a shot of my new growth with conditioner on it.

    Deep Conditioning with Kera Minerals Smoothing Conditioner (13 weeks post)

    Here's the flat twist/faux bob protective style I decided to wear today.

    Flat twists in the front and ends tucked under in the back

    How did your most recent wash day go?