September 29, 2008

Maintaining Box Braids

My box braids are still in and I feel that I am actually going to be able to keep them in until November :o) - I decided to do a little pre-month - update (October 14th will actually be one month wearing these box braids). I have noticed some shrinkage due to washing, but overall they still look pretty good.

I haven't done too much to them since they have been in. I have been keeping them in a small bun. I have noticed that I am able to wear it in a lower bun - not quite in the middle of the back of my head but almost there - without having to tuck in any short braids. I don't know if that is a sign that my hair is growing or the braids just getting old and loose.

At night I take down my bun and put my braids in a loose ponytail, then cover with a satin scarf. About once a week I add a little bit of moisturizer - mostly shea butter- by rubbing my hands together with about a quarter size amount of moisturizer between them and distributing the moisturizer throughout the braids. Then I put the braids back in my bun and go :o)

After I wash my braids I let them air dry, and when they are still damp I add about the same amount of moisturizer, maybe just a little more so I can make sure I put extra on the ends and put them in a ponytail - this actually helps with the shrinkage as well. While my hair is damp, moisturized and in the ponytail I put on my satin scarf until it is dry and this helps with frizziness.

Well, that's all for now. I will update once my box braid style is one month old.

Peace and Blessings

September 15, 2008

Hair Growth Experiment Update # 1

Okay, I have a mini-update. As you know (if not see 8/4/08 post) I have challenged myself to wear protective styles for a year (until Aug. '09) to see how long my hair would grow with little or no manipulation. I have been wearing my hair in box braids since August. I am on my third set of box braids. The first set lasted three weeks and the second lasted two (I did the second set a little bigger approx 35 braids or so).

After taking the second set down yesterday I had planned to wear my hair in two-strand twists, but decided to go back to the tiny box braids because they last longer. It took me over four hours to put them in and I plan to keep them in until the end of October/beginning of November if I don't get tired of them.

Now for the update:

When I took the first set of braids down I really didn't notice any difference in length, but after taking the second set down I noticed that my hair was a little longer. After I detangled with a wide tooth comb I was actually able to get all of my hair in a pony tail (well really a pony-puff :o) I was able to get every strand in a lower pony tail - gathered in the middle of the back of my head versus all piled on the top, and it actually stayed.

Of course, my hair was stretched out since it had been in braids for two weeks, so I decided to try it after I washed it. Once washed my hair shrinks up, so usually I can only put it into two small puffs because it could not fit into one even after detangling. But this time it fit into one puff - although still small, and I had to make the puff a little higher on my head (but not directly sitting on the top).

I also noticed the growth after I put the new tiny braids in and I was able to put over 90% of them in one tiny bun, which again is not a low bun, but not directly sitting on top of my head either. I did keep one braid down - purposely (I usually keep one or two down to show-off the length :o) I did not have to use any hair clips to keep them in place this time, but I'm sure after I wash them this will change. But, this is great progress :o)

I plan to do updates on my hair growth as I take each style down. I also may have to trim/dust the ends after I take this third set of braids out - I may even do that before taking them out. I have not tried any new products or poos so far. I just wash (with my shampoo bar - coming soon :o) - and I add some shea butter throughout and a little on the ends before I braid. I also wash every two weeks. That's it. I will keep you posted.

Peace and Blessings...

September 02, 2008

Natural Hair Idols

Hey, I haven't been here in a while. I have been busy researching ingredients and searching the web for product ideas, so I really haven't been out of the naptural hair arena :o) As I was doing my research I came across so many pictures of beautiful natural hair styles. I was so tempted to take my hair down (remember from my August post I am committing to keep my hair in protective styles until next August - so far so good).

Anyway, as I admired the natural hair styles on the web I remembered how I used to search the magazine racks for any picture I could get a hold of that featured someone wearing a natural style. Therefore, I got the idea to dedicate this entry to a few of my 'natural hair idols'. The first is Lauryn Hill.

Although Lauryn has dropped out of the 'mainstream' music business you can easily find some of her recent live performances on YouTube - still rocking her natural hair. It was 12 years ago, when the Fugees released "The Score", when my attention was first drawn to Ms. Hill's naptural hair.

The moment I saw her hair I knew I wanted my hair to look just like it. That is actually when my naptural hair journey began. I started collecting every magazine, and recording every Fugee music video I could find that showcased Lauryn's hair so I could examine the texture and style. I actually still have the first magazine I found (don't think I will ever get rid of it even though the pages are falling out - I still may have some of those videos too :o).

To begin my journey, I decided to cut my freshly permed hair super short to above my ears from it's shoulder length and I remember carrying that coveted magazine around as a testament to what my hair would look like. Although I re-permed my hair three times during that journey, I always came back to that picture to get myself back on track. So I credit Lauryn Hill, and her hairstylist at the time, for giving me a new-found love of natural hair.

More Lauryn Hill hairstyles:

I loved how she wore here locs in all types of styles :o)

More glamorous Chunky 'Fro :o)

...These days there are lots of naptural celebs.

Another one of my favorites from way 'back-in-the-day' is Nina Simone.

Talk about pioneer - this is a 1967 album cover.

Meshell Ndegeocello is another favorite. She has worn her hair natural for as long as I can remember - from cornrows to bald.

Interrupting my list of music artists check out actress T'keyah Crystal's hair. It is my ultimate hair goal ;o)

Check out her website

...And model/actress Tomiko Fraser.

Check out her website

Singers/Actresses Jill Scott and India.Arie are also among my favs.

India.Arie is going to star in the Tony nominated for colored girls who considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf on Broadway this Summer.

And I can not end without mentioning one of my most favorite 'mixtress napturals' entrepreneur Lisa Price of Carol's Daughter. (USA Today Photo)

I am definitely going to have to do a Natural Hair Idols Part II (or more) because there are sooo many more that I would like to add :o) But for now I will end here.

Peace and Blessings...

The pictures on this entry are the property of the original copyright holders. If you feel you haven't been credited for a picture belonging to you, please let me know.