Wash Day/HOTD: Failed Twist Out

Happy Monday! This weekend's wash day was as simple as can be. I couldn't be bothered with a long wash day this time around, so I stuck with the basics.

First, I did a pre poo with a mix of Tresseme Naturals conditioner, olive oil, tea tree oil, and castor oil. I put my hair into two sections and baggied my ends before putting a plastic cap on my whole head. There is a short clip on @mypoundcake Instagram page which shows exactly what I am talking about. Be sure to follow Pound Cake on there! I baggied for about an hour while I worked out.

After rinsing out my prepoo, I cowashed with Trader Joes Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner (an old favorite) and finger detangled in the shower. I applied an oil mix (a blend of every oil I own) to my hair in sections, rinsed the oil off, and seal my strands with cold aloe vera juice. Outside of the shower I applied Shea Moisture JBCO Leave In Conditioner and then let my hair air dry for about 4 hours while I binge watched the Entourage (in preparation for the movie coming out this week). When my hair was about 70% dry I applied about a dimed size of Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie and half a dime size of Argan Oil Eco Styler Gel to medium sized sections and twisted my hair up for a twist out. Altogether I had 21 twists. I believe this was the first time I combined these two products for a twistout. I love the products individually but this is probably the last time I will use them together. I'll explain why later...

I found that when I do a twist out on damp or dry hair as opposed to wet hair, I get better twist out results simple because my hair dries all the way before I take the twists down. 95% of my hair styles that have failed have been due to my hair not drying all the way lol. Well...

This morning I took my dogs for a long walk and it was just hot enough for me to sweat. I didn't have the time to sit under a dryer, so when I took my twists down this morning, my scalp and some of my twists were damp. Oh joy!... Well, I didn't get the definition I was looking for...once again.

I don't think the dampness was solely from walking the dogs in the heat though. When taking the twists down, my hair felt almost over moisturized. I think I may have applied too much Argan Oil Eco Syler Gel. This gel is so moisturizing, but when paired with the Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie it doesn't seem to be the business if definition is what you're going for. As a matter of fact, my best twist outs have been a result of 100% dry hair and using the least amount of product possible. Obviously I didn't remember that this time around. So here my hair goes again...doing whatever it wants. 

I pouted for a bit....then I put it a puff and jazzed it up with a flat twist in the front! Problem solved! 

How do you achieve your best twist outs?


Wondabraid: Janelle Monae MetGala Inspired Hairstyle

For Met Gala 2015, Janelle Monae wore a beautiful braided hairstyle created by celebrity hairstylist Caprice Green. I have been obsessing over it ever since and plotting on a recreation.

After doing my research, I decided to incorporate a dinosaur braid (also known as the four strand round braid) using braiding hair and what seemed like a million bobby pins to recreate this look. My hair was separated into three sections: the middle mohawk section, and the two side sections. I used Olive Oil Eco Styler Gel to cornrow all three sections. I used about two and a half packs of Janet Collection Super Jumbo Braiding hair for the dinosaur braid and used bobby pins to attached the braid to my middle cornrowed section. As I bobby pinned the braid down I made sure to pull on the braid for more volume. Check out Youtuber Briadsandstyles12's video on how to do a dinosaur braid for more information on how I created the braid.


Headwrap Lookbook/Tutorial Vol. 1

Do you want to try incorporating headwraps into your hair regimen but don't know how to style them? I got you! I love headwraps and I am probably wearing one 2 to 3 days out of the week nowadays. I have posted my first of many headwrap lookbook/tutorial video. It features 4 different styles so you can get your wrap on! Enjoy!


Hair of the Day: Faux Twisted Bun

I put mini twists in my hair a couple days ago so I could dust some split ends. I've been wearing them under headwraps and wigs but today I decided to wear them out before they got too old and frizzy. I don't have too much length to do much with my mini twists but I improvised and got a faux twisted messy bun look out of it.

I had some leftover Cuban Twist hair from a failed crochet braid wig attempt, so I attached the hair to a hair tie and twisted up a faux bun. I had no intention of wearing my mini twists out when I installed them so they aren't the neatest but the Cuban twist hair is slightly rough and frizzy which made for easy blending and a successful improve style. Here is a quick video below showing how I got this look.


Wash Day: Braidout

This weekend's #washdayexperience started off with the SheaMoisture Curl and Shine shampoo and conditioner. Afterwards, I deep conditioned with Alikay Naturals Honey and Sage Deep Conditioner overnight. This deep conditioner is new to my stash. It gave my hair so much shine and moisture moisture moisture! I deep conditioned in twist and my twists were just bouncing all over the place afterwards! I was very pleased with the honey and sage deep conditioner and will be using it again. After washing the deep conditioner out, I applied my oil mix to the twists. I rinsed that off with cold water and then sprayed my hair with cold aloe vera juice.

My style of choice this time around was a braidout. I loved braidouts when I was relaxed and I love them even more now! I had my hair air dry about 75% before adding the Alikay Naturals Lemongrass Leave In Conditioner to the twists. I had let it air dry a bit first so that the braidout could be big a volumionus but I ended up having to spritz it with water beacuse my hair is easier to manipulate that way. I added water (when needed) and a very small amount of the Alikay Naturals Moisture Rich Hair Parfait. This hair parfait definetely takes the cake for best smelling product in my stash. It smells like desert and a tropical island mixed together.

After applying the products I braided my hair in small/medium sized sections and then rolled the ends with perm rods. For the takedown I took the perm rods out and added a bit of the Alikay Naturals Shine Crave Hair Glosser. I then unbradied my hair carefully, separated, and fluffed. My barids were not completely dry when I took the braids down (of course...they never are) but its ok because it make for bomb second day hair!

When I tell you all that my hair is so soft! It feels so fluffy and has tons of movement. I've been shaking my head all day beacuse I am so surprised at how much movement it has. Everytime I shake it I get a wiff of the hair parfait and I am in love! I really enjoyed using the Alikay Naturals products and I can not wait to try more styles with these products.

Be sure to follow Pound Cake on Instagram (@mypoundcake) to see more pictures and videos of this braidout and more!

Have you tried the Alikay Naturals products? How did it work for you?
The Wash Day Experience


The Wrap Life: Nia

I have been loving headwraps lately. They are a great way to spice up a hairstyle or stretch and old one. I am definetely thinking of incorporating headwraps into my weekly routine so that I don't have to manipulate my hair too often.

A couple of weeks ago I stumbled upon a company called The Wrap Life. This company is based out of Brooklyn, NY (my hometown) and they hand make African headwraps, clothing, and accessories with different colors and textures. I fell in love with their store after visiting their website and I went ahead and order my first Ankara headwrap. 

I ordered the Nia headwrap. It had a gorgeous blend of red and gold and just perfect to brighten up a look. It is 22x72 inches and 100% cotton. 

The shopping time was alright. It took about a week to get to me with standard shipping. I was so eager to try some head wrap styles with such a beautiful piece. Here are some of the styles I have achieved with the Nia headwrap. 

I can not wait to expand my collection of headwraps from this company. It looks like the styling will be endless!


Kinky Straight Protective Style: Deja Vu Perm Kinky Yaky

I stumbled upon a video on YouTube about hair called Deja Vu Perm Kinky Yaki hair. GlamCorner made a half wig with this hair which mimics natural blown out hair and as soon as I saw the video I knew I had to make my own. I have been able to protect my hair under this half wig for about two weeks now and I absolutely love it! I will be doing a full review on this protective style soon. As for now, check out how I made this half wig below. Also, follow the blog on Instagram @_mypoundcake_ to see how I have been styling this half wig.


CurlBox Natural March 2015

There are a wide variety of monthly subscriptions nowadays that feed into our curiosity and product junkie tendencies. I do not indulge in too many of them, but I have always had an interest in subscribing to CurlBox.

CurlBox is a monthly subscription for affordable and exclusive hair care products. Once you become a member you are sent a box full of new hair products for you to try on a monthly basis. The thing is...curlBox is so saught after and the memberships are granted on a first come first serve basis after joing their mailing list. It took me a while to get a membership but I finally got mine this month!

My first box was the March 2015 curlBox Natural. I recieved five products from the Alikay Naturals line! I was so excited about this because I had been eyeing this line in Target but I had yet to give in. I kept putting off when I was going to actually purchase some of the Alikay products but it's all good becaue curlBox made up my mind for me. Alikay Naturals is a brand started by a YouTuber by the name of Rochelle Graham (YouTube name: BlackOnyx77). I have followed her journey for some time now and her hair is perfection! When you see her hair you can't help but want to try her products. The products included in the box were:

Honey and Sage Deep Conditioner
Moisture Rich Hair Parfait
Lemongrass Leave-In Conditioner
Creme Brulee Curling Delight
Shine Crave Hair Glosser

Isn't that a lot!? I am so ready to try these out! I have a protective style planned for next week and these are the products I will be using to achieve the look. I have promised myself that as long as I have a curlBox coming in the mail I do not need to be purchasing any other products...lets see how that goes.

Do you have a curlBox subscription? Have you tried the Alikay Naturals line? DO you love it or hate it? Let me know!


SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow, & Restore Line Review

If you have been following my blog, you know that SheaMoisture has been giving me and my hair life lately! My hair had generally been responding really well to the brand as a whole, but more recently I have been loving the Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow, & Restore line. I purchased the shampoo, treatment masque, leave-in conditioner, styling lotion, and hair serum from Walgreens and I have been using them for about two months now.

Why I purchased
I was drawn to these particular products because of the Jamaican black castor oil ingredient. Throughout my hair journey (relaxed and natural), castor oil has always been a staple. Castor oil has helped to strengthen my hair and promote growth, so when I saw that SheaMoisture had a line made with Jamaican black castor oil, I knew it was up my alley. Other great ingredients used in this collection include:

Organic Shea Butter- Deeply moisturizes while conditioning hair and scalp

Peppermint- Stimulates the scalp for an invigorating experience

Rosemary Oil- stimulates scalp

Apple Cider Vinegar- contains natural AHAs that clarify and help regulate pH levels of the scalp

I appreciate that the products are made for natural, chemically processed, color treated or heat styled hair because it means that I should be able to use them at any stage of my hair journey. It seemed as though I would be able to get some longevity out of this line. Like most SheaMoisture products, this line contains no sulfates, no parabens, no phthalates, no paraffin, no gluten, no propylene glycol, no mineral oil, no synthetic fragrance, no synthetic color, no DEA, and no animal testing.

Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen Grow & Restore Shampoo 

This shampoo is a clarifying shampoo. It's purpose is to strip the hair of any buildup and balance the pH levels of the scalp. I always need one clarifying shampoo among my products and I was pleased to find that this shampoo would be able to take that spot. This shampoo was able to cleanse my hair without making it feel like I had used dish washing detergent (as do many clarifying shampoos I have tried). I could not go without applying conditioner or else my hair would've been drier than I would like, but it's a clarifying shampoo for a reason. This shampoo has a very runny consistency which made it easy to distribute throughout my scalp. My hair was clean, soft, and shiny after washing. I attribute the shine to the apple cider vinegar. ACV has given me great shine when I used it in the past. I did not continue to use ACV in my regimen because I felt as though it was a bit drying and I could not stand the smell; however, the combination of ACV, shea butter, and castor oil solved that issue completely.

I was able to try it out twice; once while my hair was in twists and had been deep conditioning, and another time while my hair was free without any pre-conditioning. My hair was more moisturized after shampooing on deep conditioned hair which was expected. This product comes in a 16.3 fl oz bottle which is 25% more than other SheaMoisture shampoos. Looks like I will be using this clarifying shampoo for a while and I have no problem with that!

Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen Grow & Restore Treatment Masque

I used this masque to deep condition in many different ways. I tried it on dry hair, freshly shampooed hair, freshly co-washed hair, and overnight. In every condition this masque was BOMB! The slip I got from this creamy product was amazing! As soon as I applied the product I was able to detangle extremely easily. My curls literally felt like they had melted into perfection. The product is said to restore strength and resilience to damaged, brittle, or chemically processed hair. I would definitely say that the product lives up to this promise. It took care of my brittle hair and left me with soft, silky, and bouncy curls. I also found that my curls were a lot less frizzy after using this product. I felt like this masque works similarly to my homemade conditioners and because of that it goes in rotation!

Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen Grow & Restore Leave-In Conditioner

This leave in conditioner has to be my favorite product of the line. It has a watery consistency which made it perfect to detangle with after washing. Like the masque, this leave-in left me with moisturized and shiny hair! Sometimes when I use watery leave in conditioners my hair becomes stringy and vulnerable to breakage. However, this JBCO leave-in left my hair feeling strong! This was very important to me because my strands are fine and if they are over-manipulated they snap and break. I was glad to find a leave in conditioner that has the perfect balance of strengthening and moisturizing properties. I mostly used this leave-in for wash and gos before applying gel and my hair stayed moisturized for days. I have been using this product non stop! I have already been through three jars! This styling lotion made me fall in love with wash and gos because it has my curls on their best behavior. Easy staple for sure.

Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen Grow & Restore Styling Lotion

The styling lotion promises to protect your hair while restoring moisture and shine. I am not exactly sure how I feel about this promise. My first time using the lotion was not pleasant. The consistency is similar to the leave-in conditioner but the lotion is not as watery. The first time around it left my hair sticky and stiff, but I had used waaaay too much of the product. It left a weird filmy/sticky feeling on my fingers. After a couple trials, I found that a little bit of this product goes a long way. I used it for a twist out and also to cornrow my hair. I tried it on my hair while it was damp and again while my hair was dry and it left me with great moisture and medium hold. I got a three day twistout with this product before having to re-twist. When I use the lotion with the JBCO leave-in I get amazing shine. Without the leave-in the shine does not last. When using the lotion without the leave-in I usually have to apply the JBCO serum to achieve lasting sheen. Don't use too much of this or you'll get product buildup! You can get moisturized and soft hair with only a dime size for a small section!

Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen Grow & Restorative Hair Serum

I used this serum as a scalp massaging oil. It is an extremely light product but it distributes on the scalp really well. I only needed about 5 to 10 drops of it to cover my whole scalp. For about a month and a half, I applied the serum at night and gave myself a scalp massage for about 10 to 15 minutes. The serum had both my scalp and my roots feeling extremely moisturized. By the morning, the serum runs down my strands and moisturizes the rest of my hair. I loved this product! The only thing I didn't like was that you only get 2 fl oz of product. For $10.99 I wish I could've gotten more; especially since the shampoo, lotion, masque, and leave in are similarly priced and come with upwards of 8 fl oz of product.

In Conclusion...
Overall I really enjoyed the Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen Grow & Restore line. I didn't monitor any growth as much as I did the promise of strength and restoration because hair growth is not as important to me as the health of my hair. Of course we always have to remember that with health comes growth so since these products did a great job at strengthening and restoring moisture, I am confident that the growth will come.

P.S. For those who are worried about the smell of Jamaican Black Castor Oil... Don't! These products smell more like fresh shea butter than anything else. You won't have to deal with that burnt castor oil smell that we all cringe at. 

Have you tried this line? You should!


Best Hairstyles of Oscars 2015

To be honest, I never watch the actual Oscars...I am just not that into it. However, I always watch the preshow for the fashion and slayage.

Lupita Nyong'o

Source: Getty / Jason Merritt
Lupita always makes the TWA looks so classy and elegant. That pearl Calvin Klein dress against her chocolate skin just completed the flawless package.

Zoe Saldana 

Steve Granitz/WireImage
I was loving Zoe's effortless waves. When it comes to hair and makeup, Zoe Saldana is usually a minimalist and it works so well for her. The low messy bun gave me an 'I woke up like this' vibe. 

Scarlett Johansson

Source: Getty / Kevin Mazur
This cut is everything to me! If I had hair that followed directions, I feel like I would try an edgy cut like Scarlett Johnson. At least something tapered... I liked that she wore this edgy cut to the Oscars. Pairing it with a classy emerald dress was risky but worked for me. 

Zendaya Coleman

Source: Getty / Jason Merritt
Zendaya's faux locs were perfect. I have been contemplated doing this exact same protective style. The length, color, and embellishments are all what I had in mind. Now if I could just muster up the patience!

Kelly Osbourne

Jason Merritt/Getty Images
Anyone who can be different but still classy on the red carpet got two thumbs up from me. I was a fan of Kelly's pastel purple hair and shaved sides.

Ava DuVernay 

Jason Merritt/Getty Images
DuVernay's locs were styled into a ninja bun. I haven't personally seen someone dress up an ninja bun before so I didn't expect it on the red carpet. Ava DuVernay did the style justice.

Viola Davis

Source: Getty / Jason Merritt
Another beautiful TWA! Im glad Viola's fro survived though. In the last episode of HTGAWM, Annie May's mother went at her hair with a fine tooth comb and all of my body cringed. Anywho...I was so happy to see the fro love on the red carpet!

 Oprah Winfrey

Jason Merritt/Getty Images
I am always a fan of Oprah's curls! She always wears it like a lion's mane and the lustre is on point! Those brown highlights are perfect!

Which look was your favorite from the 2015 Oscars?


365 Days of Fitness: Day 27-46

I am still going strong with the FocusT25 Beachbody program. It is a great part of this 365 day challenge because it is only a 25 minute commitment each day. Don't be fooled by the 25 minutes though, it is hard work! I can already tell that this hard work is going to pay off. Don't forget to follow my journey on my fitness channel: TJauneT_X


Braids and Curls

Yesterday I had all intentions to spend the day doing a braided mohawk for a concert later in the night. I had stretched my hair out using the banding method and I was excited to braid it up. I braided a little section in the front and then got super lazy! I didn't want to do the rest but I still needed a style for the concert! What to do...what to do...

I grabbed my Carol's Daughter Macadamia Heat Protecting Serum and my curling wand and improvised. It took me about 20 mins to put some curls in. My curling wand was set to 325 degrees. I didn't want it too hot for fear of heat damage and I didn't plan on keeping this style for very long. I took about medium sized sections and wrapped them around my curling wand for 8 seconds each.

I loved the results! It was a bonus that my hair smelled so great! I love this Macadamia serum from Carols Daughter. It worked well on my relaxed hair and my natural hair seems to love it too!  I wasn't able to take any pictures right after I was done styling but I did have enough energy after the concert to snap a few pics. After about 4 hours my curls did drop, but I enjoyed the style none the less. My hair responded pretty well to the heat but I can't wait to do a hot oil treatment next wash day to prevent any unnecessary dryness.


Wash Day: Dust/Trim

I could not wait for this past week's wash day! I had used the SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curling Souffle to try a dry perm rod set and I did not care for this product too much. It left this weird film on my hair along with little white balls of product throughout my strands. My hair was really dry and difficult to manipulate. I am not sure if I used the product incorrectly, but I do know that I didn't even use much of it (as advised by others who have used the product in the past). Needless to say the product went right back to the store...

When my hair was in this dry state I could see that my ends were significantly more dry and brittle than the rest of my hair. I knew that this wash day had to include clarifying this Curling Souffle out and dusting off some of my old ends. I went ahead and clarified with the SheaMoisture JBCO Grow and Restore Shampoo and deep conditioned overnight with the SheaMoisture JBCO Grow and Restore Treatment Mask. After cleansing and conditioning I applied the SheaMoisture JBCO Grown and Restore Leave In Conditioner to small sections and twisted up those sections as smoothly as I could. I absolutely love the products in this line but a full review is coming soon!

I dusted off about 1/4 of an inch off of the ends of each twist with new hair cutting shears. I know that this is not the most traditional way to dust/trim, but it worked for me! There was no noticeable length lost and no raggity ends in sight. This was my first trim since my big chop and I wasn't scurred. I care for healthy ends more than I do length.

The Wash Day Experience


It's My Hair Tag!

I am back on YouTube! My most recent upload is the 'It's My Hair Tag!' In this video I answer questions about my hair. 

Like. Comment. and Subscribe! Let me know if you do the tag so I can watch!


Wash Day: Hair Anniversary Gifts and Pampered Wash and Go

This past Saturday was my one year natural hair anniversary!! I treated myself to some new products so that I could have a special wash day. I went to Target and picked up the Camille Rose Naturals Curl Maker and the Kinky Curly Knot Today. I had heard great things about these products and was eager to try them out!

On Sunday I detangled my hair with an oil mixture and but my hair in big twists. I left that on under a plastic cap. After about an hour, I shampooed and conditioned my hair with SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo and Conditioner. I then applied the SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Intensive Repair Mask in small sections and detangled thoroughly before twisting the sections. 

I let the mask sit in my hair overnight under a plastic cap and washed it out in the morning. I sprayed the twists with aloe vera juice and then sealed with an oil mixture. I rinsed the oil off and then unraveled a twist.

I applied about a quarter size of the Knot Today to this section and smoothed it into the hair. This product detangled my hair very quickly. It has great slip! I then applied about one pump of the Curl Maker and smoothed the hair some more. The curl maker had even more slip and made my hair feel silky. I made sure to smooth the hair and have it lay the way I wanted it to dry. I repeated this process on all the sections and then air dried. I loved how defined and shiny my curls were! 

When my hair was completely dry I stretched my roots with the blow dryer. I loved how these products made my hair feel! It was a nice treat! My curls were super defined and I absolutely loved how shiny and soft it was. I definitely think these products live up to the hype and I will be sure to review them once I use them some more. 

Have you ever tried these products? How did they work for you?

The Wash Day Experience


Soften Your Hard Water: Sprite Showers Shower Filter Review

I am currently at a stage in my hair journey where all my hair wants is moisture moisture moisture!  I have been trying my best to keep my strands moisturized every day but after a while I had been feeling like there wasn't any moisture being retained. I knew I needed to check and see if I had hard water because my hair would sometimes be dry right after washing it in the shower. It sometimes felt like I didn't wash out much product.

Hard water is water that has too many minerals in it, which leaves residue on the hair and skin. Having hard water affects the rinse-ability of product and dirt, so I needed to soften my water to rid of some minerals. I went out to Home Depot and decided to give the Sprite Showers Shower Filter a try. 

The products claims to removes chlorine, dirt, and odor. It is described to have a universal fit and uses the chlorogon filtration method.  It costs $17.98 and is said to last up to 6 months before replacing the filter. The filter was easy to assemble. The unit connects to the base of the shower head and there is a dial to record the month of installation. This will remind you to change out the filter in about six months. 

After running the water under this new filtration system for a while, I performed a hard water tests to see if the system was actually filtering out those hard minerals. I took a sample of faucet water and a sample of filtered shower water and added drops of detergent in them. If the water was hard, then the soap would react with the minerals and fog up the water. However, if the water was filtered, the water would be more clear once the detergent was added. This is exactly what happened! The faucet water was cloudy with soap added and the filtered water was not. 

It looks like this filtration system works out pretty well! I do feel a difference in the softness of my hair on wash days. I do not feel that same film over my hair that I used to feel when using hard water. My hair is much more soft and bouncy after washing.  I am interested to see if this filter will continue to filter out minerals for six months. I will be sure to update you all. 

Do you have hard water? Is it affecting the results of your wash day?