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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

30 Day Blog Challenge

I came across this 30 day blog challenge on Flawless Mistake and it sounds like fun so I plan to participate.

If you plan to play along please let me know. I would love to see/comment on your posts.

Weekend Hair

On Saturday I attempted to attend an event [shall remain nameless] but unfortunately, I could not find the building. There were some questionable characters hanging around outside of the area that the event should have been located so I was not about to get out my car and look for this place. I did my hair, makeup, and got dressed for nothing. I hate that.

I think my hubby felt bad for me so he took me out to eat, that truly made it all better. We tried out a new Mexican restaurant and the food was delicious. You know a place has good food when other patrons tell you (out of the blue) that you will enjoy your meal and they have been eating there for years. I love southern hospitality - yes, we talk to strangers down here.

As for my hair...On Friday night I put 6 plaits in my hair using on Karen's Body Beautiful Heavenly Jojoba Oil. It was a sample that I obtained at the Curly Girls Rock event. Samples are the best thing a company can do for itself (in my opinion). I would have never ordered this product on a whim but being able to try it increases the chances that I will order or share with someone that may want to order the product.

OK, back to my hair...On Saturday morning I removed the plaits and just fluffed until all the parts were no longer visible. My hair was really soft and moisturized throughout the weekend - this was the only product I used the entire weekend.

5 Bad Curly Habits


Naturally Curly has an article that was included in their email today that I found informative, helpful, and very true. I will confess that at one time in my life (for a long time) I was guilty of all 5 habits that are listed in this article. Once I started breaking those habits I saw a great improvement in my hair's health and length retention. I am still battling the scissor-happy habit but I am determined to defeat that monster.

Visit Naturally Curly to read about all 5 curly habits: 5 Bad Curly Hair Habits You Should Break

Sunday, May 29, 2011

What is the baggy method?

The baggy method is exactly how it sounds an hair care method that includes a bag. The options for the baggy method include a full head baggy method, sometimes referred to as the Greenhouse Effect, or the ponytail only baggy method.

The overall purpose of the baggy method is to promote hair growth by locking in moisture. When baggying your ends only, after moisturizing them, length retention is promoted because the ends are not breaking and splitting due to dryness.

There is a difference between the baggy method and the greenhouse effect. The baggy method typically requires you to use a moisturizer whereas the greenhouse effect encourages your body heat and natural oils to moisturize your hair.

I have not tried the greenhouse effect but I have done the baggy method when my hair was extremely dry. It gave me immediate moisture but the results are temporary. When dealing with cases of extreme dryness I  would highly recommend regular conditioning with a moisturizing conditioner.

In simple terms, how do you do the baggy method?
On hair that has been washed and conditioned you can apply a leave-in or additional moisturizer of your choice, put on a shower cap, and then secure into place with an elastic headband.
On dry hair, apply a moisturizer (or conditioner), put on a shower cap/plastic cap, and then secure into place with an elastic headband.
The length of time that you choose to baggy is up to you just keep in mind that too much of a good thing can be harmful.

Click on the links within this post to see images of the Baggy Method.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Does your hair goal match your hair reality?

Does this comment sound familiar or maybe you have made that comment yourself? I know I have. You can go on almost any hair forum and find a question similar to the one above. Sometimes a tweak with the style technique or with a hair care regimen can result in a closer desired look for the person asking the question. Other times, someone has to break the news to an individual and tell them "you don't have the texture of the person in that picture/video/magazine etc to achieve the identical look."

If a person has corkscrew curls, it's likely that they will have some difficulty achieving a twist-out similar to a person that has loose spiral-like curls.

When many ladies take that first step into the natural hair world they look at tons of photos of other naturals for encouragement. Having a visual goal in mind is a great way to stay motivated but unfortunately that can also work against an individual by delivering a false sense of hope for what their textured future holds.

So if we were to use hair typing...an individual with type 3 hair would find themselves constantly frustrated if there were to follow the regimen and seek the same product results of an individual with type 4 hair. All products will not work the same for all people. All styles will will not the same on all natural hair/transitioning individuals.

If you can't get an identical style look that your admire on someone else, it's okay. That is the opportunity to make the style your own. If their regimen doesn't work, change it. Seek YOUR BEST HAIR.

I admire the curls of Kelis but I know that I could never achieve the exactly curly look that she has been known to wear. The thing that I admire the most about her hair is the versatility and the boldness. There is nothing wrong with admiring the curls of other individuals but when you try to make their curls your own - that can cause unnecessary stress.

Do you have an hair idol/inspiration? How does their texture compare to yours?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Product Review: Tea and Honey Blends Tea Tree Conditioner

The product being reviewed was sent to me free of charge to test out and review. I have not received any monetary composition for this review and my views and opinions on this product are completely honest.

Tea and Honey Blends

Ingredients: Water, Cetyl Alcohol, Propylene Gycol, Stearyl Alcohol, Cyclomethicone, Centrimonium Chloride, Stearalkonium Chloride, Camphor Oil, Eucalpytus Globulus Leaf Oil, Peppermint, Tea Tree Oil, Clove Oil, Rosemary Oil, Panthenol, Silk Amino Acids, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Jojoba Oil, Shea Butter Extract, Algae Extract, Fragrance, DMDM Hydantoin Acrylamidopropytrimonium Chloride/Acrylamide Copolymer, Phenoxyethanol

They say: Nourishes the hair with added texture, shine, & softness pH balanced. Designed to to stimulate the scalp.

I say: So, what did I think about this conditioner? I loved it! The scent reminded me of Giovanni's Triple Tea Tree Treat but the THB conditioner has a much softer scent, more slip, and left my hair feeling soft. Detangling was a breeze and after rinsing I did not feel any residue left behind from the conditioner. I have various hair types on my head and the way each section responded to the conditioner leads me to believe this conditioner would work for any hair type. However, I do wonder how well this conditioner would work as a leave-in. This product came at the perfect time because I was just about to begin my hunt for a new deep conditioner. .....Yes, I would buy this product again (and in the 32oz). :)

Visit Tea and Honey Blends to view their other products.

Princess Leia Buns

This week I stepped outside of my regular bun box and created some Princess Leia inspired buns.

I got comments ranging from "Your hair is cute" to "You look like a little girl." To achieve this look I parted my hair down the middle prior to getting in the shower to wash and condition my hair. I cleansed each side and then used an elastic ponytail holder to position the ponytails for the buns.

To prep my hair for bunning I applied a leave-in conditioner to each ponytail, followed that with coconut oil, and lastly SheaMoisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie. Each bun is comprised of two 2-strand twists that were wrapped around the ponytail holder and hair pinned into place.

To smooth my edges I used the same leave-in conditioner, shea butter, and a satin scarf to tie down the edges over night. Theses buns were fun, I liked the way they looked, and they were quick.

If you are bunning for a protective styles, remember to switch up the bun position so that you will decrease the chance of experiencing breakage at the point of your in which the ponytail holder is placed.

We are here to inspire each other

Many of you may remember this style:

We I got a message from one of the HerBestHair's readers stating that she has recreated the style. I took a peek and she did a great job. Please pop on over to Diva Do's & Everything in between and let her know what you think on her Cornrow & Twist Updo.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

You Asked, I Answered

You Asked:
@HerBestHair I have a Q: I've been natural for 1yr now & it's reached that slow-grow period. Any tips for faster growth other than vitamins?

I answered:
This is a very common question and I think the majority of us have pondered this at least once. My belief is that there is NOT a miracle product or pill out there that will result in mega-fast hair growth. You hair is growing, but what are you doing to make sure it's healthy and that you are retaining every millimeter that appears? For healthy and optimal growth you must take care of yourself from the inside out. If your body is lacking any of the requirements it needs to be healthy it will start to pull them from places that need them the least, like your hair. Vitamins are recommended to aid in hair growth because they will help to ensure that your body has the proper vitamin and protein balance it needs. I try to eat balanced meals because I am more concerned about my overall health.

The slow growth period you are referring to may mean that you are in the telogen phase of hair growth. It is important during this stage that you handle your hair with care, condition properly, and avoid styles that may cause breakage. You don't want to cause a setback during this period because then you increase your chances of having to start at a shorter length once you cycle back to the anagen phase. I hope this info helps and encourages you. Be sure to check out the links below for further encouragement. Be patient, the length will come - I know from first hand experience.

Sorry I don't have the "do this" or "use that" answer. We all want it. Good luck on journey. Stay consistent and the length will come. Document your journey monthly and you should notice that you are gaining length.

Resource: Hair Vitamins
Example of 1 year of growing using protective styles: Reniece Shrinkage and Length Check
Human hair growth
Got anything to add? Please comment below.

Twitter questions are also accepted, encouraged, and answered. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sunday Style: 2nd Day twist-out

Whenever I want to get an additional day out of an twist-out I pineappled my hair at night and put on my satin bonnet. In the morning I just have to fluff and go.

This twist-out actually got a little "fluff" assistance from the high humidity that North Carolina has been having lately. The twists for this style were done earlier in the week and left in for a few days before un-twisted on Saturday.

Sunday Message (05/22/2011)
I'm About To Make A Come-back
Job 1:13-19; 42:10
Job's wealth was chronicled early in the book of Job but his greatest wealth was actually his relationship with God. Therefore, Job was not great because of his possessions, he was great because of his position (the right position is being in a relationship with God). During one of the most troubling times in his life Job had an unwavering faith in God. During his trial, Job learned 3 lessons that we all should learn:
1. We have buoyancy - God has given us the ability to bounce back
2. We have persistence - the ability to stand firm in the midst of obstacles [Romans 8:39]
3. Something is about to break - God will make a way out of no way, a breakthrough
Job got back all he lost and more as result of standing firm in the fear of God. You can have all the worth in the world but if you don't have Jesus you don't have anything.

Antonia Carter, natural?

Could she be?
I like Antonia Carter. I love her accent and I think she is a sweetheart for trying to take care of her family. If she's natural...that will just put another plus in my book for her (because I'm biased, lol). 

A few hours ago this pic was tweeted with the hashtag #keepitnatural

However following that hashtag was "lol."  What could that mean? #KanyeShrug

2010 [source]
2011 [source]

We all know that many celebs opt to wear weaves instead of their real hair but do we really know what is hiding under that weave? Probably not. So, what say you? Do you believe she is natural?

Follow HerBestHair on Twitter!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Hot, busy, and big hair weekend

On this past Saturday I had the opportunity to co-host a baby shower for an awesome couple. The wife is truly a wonderful friend of mine and deserved every bit of the work we put into the shower.

Between making games, buying food, making candy, and creating a cupcake display stand...

Cupcake Display
I found sometime to work in some hair care and styling. The pic below shows half of my hair with a non-fluffed defined twist-out and the other side is the same twist-out after fluffing.

My twist-outs are usually just a result of how I feel at the time and usually I feel like fluffing for big hair.


I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.

Friday, May 20, 2011

She's such a 'Beautiful Girl': Angel Taylor

Angel Taylor is just one of the individuals that make-up the gospel recording group Trin-i-tee 5:7 and just so happens to be a natural diva. She wears her locs beautifully and with style.

Angel Taylor

In 2008, Trin-i-tee 5:7 became the first gospel trio to have a certified platinum album "T57" (which I own and LOVE).


 It was announced earlier this year that Trin-i-tee 5:7 will now become a duo. Angel will remain a member of the group.


*Title: Inspired by the T57 song "Beautiful Girl" 2008

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Bimbe 2011
Every year Durham, NC has a Cultural Arts Festival known as Bimbè, this has been going on for 42 years. I have attended every year that I have known about it. This year the turnout wasn't as huge as it usually is because of the threat of rain and thunderstorms. It's a great event to attend because 1) it's free 2) the crowd is diverse and 3) LOTS of vendors. This year the final act was Rob Base and Big Daddy Kane but unfortunately we had a lot of events that day and were not able to stay until the end to see them perform.

After watching a few of Alicia James' videos I was inspired to try a new look with my hair and I am happy that it actually came out exactly how I wanted it. I think that Alicia James' hair is beautiful (as well as her singing) and I love when she wears her hair big and full but not necessarily defined by a twist out.

To achieve this look I parted my hair down the middle (my hair was previously in a bun) and did two plaits on dry hair. One on each side of my head. In the morning I just removed the plaits and fluffed.

 Here's a clip of the performance pictured above:

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

For me, buns work just fine

May 12, 2011

May 12, 2011
Nothing special - just a bun.

I started with shampooed and conditioned hair
Then I two strand twisted the the ends and pinned them into place while the hair was still damp.
I am still applying product to my ends using the Chicoro method of moisturizing and sealing:
-Leave-in conditioner
-Castor/Sweet Almond oil mix
-SheaMoisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie

This bun is slicked back with shea butter so perfectly that it really shows off my crazy edges and hairline. No, they are not thinning - it's hereditary.

Flat Twist-out

Lately, when I want to wear my hair out,  I have been doing flat twist-outs on hair that has been previously stretched from bunning. Since my hair is always thoroughly detangled before I bun the process of creating the flat twists goes quickly. I separate my hair into 4 sections starting at the crown, mist my hair with just plain water (using a spray bottle), and then lightly apply the styling product of my choice.

May 8 (Mother's Day)
To switch up the look I change up the parting sometimes starting a section in the front with an off center part. Also the size and tightness of the flat twist will create varying looks.

May 15
When I undo the flat twists I finger comb and fluff the style into place. As with many styles, too much manipulation will create a frizzy look.

This method of a twist-out does not initially yield the biggest hair but it's quick and easy. I am assuming that this style on Day 2 or 3 would get bigger. I haven't been wearing my hair out much so I have yet to test that theory.

What's the deal with Castor oil and Jamaican Black Castor Oil?

Castor oil and Jamaican Black Castor oil are two products that are frequently mentioned on natural hair blogs and forums. To date I have only tried the Home Health brand of Castor oil and my hair loves it so much that I believe I am on my third bottle already (in less than 2 years).

Initially I started doing a Castor oil challenge which consisted of applying Castor oil mixed with a lighter oil to my scalp 2-3 times a week. Prior to the challenge I had some scalp issues that included flaking and itching, especially in the crown area. After the challenge was over I noticed that even now I don't have any problems with flaking and even though my scalp still itches at times, there has been a great improvement to the amount of itching that I was experiencing. Castor oil acts as a humectant so it's possible that the Castor oil helped to draw in some much needed moisture to my scalp and roots. I know that many individuals are adamantly against oiling the scalp but it worked for me and when it comes to my hair I do what works. You should always do the say for your hair.

While researching information regarding the difference between Castor oil and Jamaican Black Castor oil I came upon the Tropic Isle Living site and there is actually has short statement on their site explaining the difference. According to the site the major difference is that the Castor beans for the JBCO are roasted until the brown color is reached and the oil is extracted. I wasn't able to find a lot of information about JBCO from reliable sources so we will just have to educate each other (leave comments below). Castor oil is typically extracted from the seed of Ricinus communis Linn. When the slow roasting is omitted, it makes sense that the color would remain light and not turn the brown color of the JBCO. (This is coming from a girl that just browned some white chocolate by accident the other day - on low heat btw)

There are numerous articles available that further explain the medicinal and health & beauty benefits that can result from the use of Castor oil. In your free time you may want to Google Castor oil and read some of that information for your self.

In your opinion is a huge difference between JBCO and CO? Which do you prefer?

I haven't tried JBCO (yet) but my sister has so I am turning to her for a first-hand review. Coming up...my sister reviews Jamaican Black Castor Oil

Tropical Isle Living Castor Oil Comparison

Welch, Holme, & Clark Co - Castor Oil
Castor Oil Facts
The Beauty Brains

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

You Asked, I Answered

You Asked:
Dear Tia,

First let me say that I absolutely love your hair!!!
I also love protective styles and prefer to wear my hair that way. I find updos very elegant and feminine. I usually do 2 strand twists and wear them up in some sort of braided updo and then tuck in the ends (no pins).
However, I have an issue: whenever I take down the updo after a week, I realise that my ends are super dry. It's frustating because I feel like I'm loosing all benefit from the protective style and not retaining any length.
When well moisturised, my ends immediately curl up and yes I have a lot of single strand knots. You've said in one of your posts that it can lead to breakage? I thought it was simply the way my hair is and there's nothing I can do about it.
You have said that you prefer buns. I've always been a little afraid of buns because it requires ponytail holders and other accessories. Aren't does bad for our hair?

Thanks in advance for any advice you may have for me. I've been stuck at shoulder length for the past 2 years (it seems).

Little info about my hair :
very coily,
frizzes a lot (but I don't mind that at all),
shrinks a lot,
prefers not to be combed,
a nightmare to detangle if not well deep-conditionned, loves water, loves conditioners,
hates shampoo on the length however my scalp MUST be clean otherwise it itches horribly.

One last thing: I have to confess that I don't really understand how to "seal in the moisture". Wet hair - put your moisturizer and add a butter on the ends? Or let air dry a little then add butter to the ends?

Sorry for the long message.

Blessings from France



Let's get to it... the issue that you are having with your dry ends is not new. I had the same problem when I first started doing updos. To remedy the problem I started focusing more product on the ends of my hair but that did not work because I wasn't using water-based product. In sum, I would suggest to apply a generous amount of a water-based product with your hair and then sealing that in with an heavy oil or butter. Please choice the product that your hair prefers. To work with the curling (which I have also) apply the product right before the moment you are ready to pin, tuck, secure, etc your ends. Also applying the product in a smoothing motion will help calm down the curl and decrease the occurrences of SSKs.

It is true, I do prefer buns. I lessen the chance of harm happening to my hair with the ponytail holders by using holders that do not have metal clasps. I also do not put them on too tight. They are secure but lose enough where I don't even feel them. Other options for holding the hair for buns include using pantyhose or satin covered ponytail holders.

I remember when I was stuck at shoulder length. Then I read about length retention. I used to dye my hair a lot so I could tell my hair was growing because the dye was growing out. The problem was the ends of my hair. So that was when I experimented with Chicoro's method, moisturizing & sealing, and protective styles. So far so good :) As far as sealing is concerned, the way I prefer to do it is to apply a water-based product and then immediately apply an oil/heavy or cream-based product.

Final note: All the advice I have offered is based on experience - some successes and some failures. That's how we learn. Now what works for my hair may not work for yours so please feel free to tweak anything stated in this post so that you get the most benefit from it.

Have some tips or alternate advice to offer? Please comment

Monday, May 16, 2011

Tip: Easy Natural Hair Coloring Recipes

My hair...many moons ago

According to becomegorgeous.com, there are a few natural ways to change your hair color. The article contains natural ways to dye blonde hair as well as darken your tresses. Many of the ingredients used to dye your hair naturally can be found right in your own kitchen pantry.  

Check out the article and website here:
Easy Natural Hair Coloring Recipes

Have you every tried any natural hair dyeing techniques? 
Which ones worked for you and which ones failed.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Statement earrings, natural hair's best friend

One of my top natural hair must -haves are statement earrings. It doesn't hurt that big earrings are also something that I love. I don't have a specific place that I like to frequent for my earring purchases - I typically pick them up whenever I see something that I like.

The pic above reflects just a small portion of my earring stash and a lot of the earrings I own consist of earrings that I made. If you are not a "hunter" for earrings, there are a few brick & mortar stores that carry big and trendy earrings on a regular basis.

You can try places like:
Also check out some vendors on Etsy and Big Cartel

One  reason that statement earrings work so well for those of us with natural hair is because smaller earrings can become hidden behind big hair. If you have always worn smaller earrings but would like to try something larger, just start small. Go up in the size of the earring until you reach a point where you are comfortable with the size.

Is there a place that you love to frequent to score some great items?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Top Protective Styles

After years of doing protective styles on my hair I have finally learned the hard way which styles work well for my hair and which ones cause me more problems. Some protective styles are great for length retention but others have caused me breakage or an increase in single strand knots.

5. Yarn Braids
I really enjoyed yarn braids and they were so convenient. So why  are they last on my list? Well, they can be tricky to care for. I did great with caring for my scalp and edges with the braids but I failed to moisturize the ends of my hair well enough. As a result, when I removed the braids my ends were extremely dry and very close to the breaking point. I had to handle my hair with care and deep condition well for a few weeks after removing the braids.
#naturalhairtip: When using any type of synthetic hair to protect your hair or grow your hair out keeping YOUR hair properly moisturized is key to getting most out of the protective style.

4. Tucked Styles
I see a lot of tutorials on Youtube for some really cute tucked natural hair styles and a few of them are on my list to try. With the hair being up and protected from clothing and the outside elements, tucked styles are great for protecting your ends but there is a downside. With tucked hair styles, most times there is a requirement to manipulate the hair daily. I learned the hard way (through some breakage) that my hair does not like to be manipulated on a daily basis when in its natural state.
#naturalhairtip: When manipulating your hair daily be sure that your hair doesn't feel dry - handling dry brittle hair leads to breakage.

3. Mini Two Strand Twists
Two strands twists (TSTs) are the easiest style for me to do and since I also have a desire deep down to loc my hair they do help quiet that want for a little while. However, the ends of my hair are extremely curly so when I do mini twists my ends curl up and create single strand knots. After my Jan 2010 twists challenge I ended up having to do a trim all over to remove the influx of SSKs.
#naturalhairtip: TSTs need to be kept up off of rough clothing just as any protective style.

2. Updos
I LOVE my updos and the only reason that they are no. 2 on this list is because of time. Creating updo styles take a little more time than any other protective styles that I like to do on my hair.
#naturalhairtip: When doing updos on damp hair, your hair can start to dry before you finish styling. Keep a spray bottle with water close so that you can re-wet each section as you go.

1. BUNS!!!
I can't say enough about how much I love to bun. Bunning for me started off as a challenge and after a while bunning became a habit. I can't stop. During the challenge I took a tip from someone to take my bun down nightly so that I would not experience breakage. Guess what? Taking it down nightly actually caused breakage. I style my buns on wet hair only and I don't place my ponytail holder on my hair tightly. I now change the position of my buns twice a week (shampooing or cowashing each time) and it works great for me.
#naturalhairtip: When bunning change the location of the bun at least weekly to prevent weakening of the hair in one hair.

#naturalhairtip for all protective styles: A protective style will not do your strands any good if you do not handle your hair with care, moisture properly, and use a heavy oil or butter to seal. Always sleep on a satin pillowcase, in a satin bonnet, or (like me) both.

Hi, my name is Tia and I am addicted to protective styling...

Got protective questions, comments, or tips? Please leave them below.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Natural Hair and Wearing Hats - Part 2

The people have spoken and the twist-out won! I was able to get a few hats from a co-worker/fellow church member to try on. I am so gracious for her generosity - I know ladies don't play when it comes to their hats. I had a few hats of my own so I threw them in the mix also.

I was little nervous and curious about how the hats would look on me...

...but the more I tried on the more I liked them.

I loved that I was able to obtain different styles so that I could get a better idea of how they would look.

I love big hats, I look forward to pictures of the Kentucky Derby just so I can drool over the hats.

I think the floppy hat look is so chic and it is great for sunny days. I actually wore that particular hat (above) when the hubby and I went to Jamaica and it was perfect.

I had to throw in the graduation hat. I figured the season was right....CONGRATS to all the grads out there.

I hope this post helps anyone out there thinking about becoming a hat wearer or wanting to pull out the hats they used to wear. Also, if you are wondering wear you can pick up a hat or two - check your local department store or check out this site: Ashro. It just so happened that my mom had their magazine on the table this past weekend and I have been gazing at the hats for a good part of the day.
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