Thursday, May 23, 2013

Karen's Body Beautiful - Sweet Ambrosia Leave-In Conditioner

Reaction: I'm not a fan of products that label themselves as "leave-in conditioners". Especially considering that my current leave-in conditioner is actually a regular conditioner (Tresemme Naturals Conditioner). But this product right here. Wow. I haven't done twistouts/braidouts on a regular in almost a year (way too much breakage and manipulation for my fine hair strands). Once in a while I like to switch it up from wearing my hair in wash-n-gos or buns. And this is the go-to product these days for when I want to do the big switch-er-roo. The results when using this product are soft, bouncy, very defined (and long lasting definition) hair. It also smells pretty damn good too. 

I have tried this product with my wash-n-gos (actually this is the first way that I tried the product). I absolutely do not like the product as a leave-in for wash n gos. I am convinced that this product has to "set" in order for it to work correctly. If I want to stretch my wash n go's I use this product and put my hair in two braids the night before. I then dampen my hair and prepare it for a wash n go. I get good results this way as well.

How I Use This Product: I use this product on wet hair. Soaking wet hair. The product is very watery so I make sure that I divide my hair into about 8 sections and distribute the product evenly throughout those sections. I then add a little oil or use my shea butter concoction. I braid or twist the sections down to the end, spiral the ends a bit for a curl, and put on my satin bonnet. My hair dries in about 8 hours depending on how big the braids are. I've even used this product on four braids and another time on two braids and had equally amazing results.

My Score: I give this product an A. It would've been an A+ but I'm not a big fan of the price (16.99 at Target). And for the amount you get that could put a hole in my pockets fast. Yet I haven't found a product yet that leaves my hair the way that this one does. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Shameless Maya and The BIG BUZZ

One of my favorite vloggers, Shameless Maya took the plunge yesterday by shaving all of her hair off. Maya is well known throughout the YouTube world for her comedic, energetic, captivating personality. And to others she is only known for her hair. Undoubtedly she has (or shall I say...had) a head of gorgeously defined curls. But as India Aire said best: "I am not my hair". And she has surely proven as of April 24, 2013 that she is NOT her hair.

Her message is raw and clear. Far too many women in society define their hair as a part of their beauty and who they are. I can say that I have been guilty of this for a large part of my life. I remember the days as a young girl where I couldn't come downstairs if my hair wasn't done. Why is it that we have allowed society to control our definition of beauty? I had to overlook the idea that straight, long, silky hair was the epitome of beauty. Years ago, I couldn't fathom wearing my natural/kinky/coily hair. I have since learned that there's more to life than hair. Confidence is beauty. Loving yourself is beauty. And in Maya's case: being shameless is beauty.

Kudos to Maya for her fearlessness on April 24, 2013!!! I am very humbled by her experience.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Untitled on Purpose

I'm back like I never left. Or did I ever leave? I don't know.

I took a nap from blogging for a two months. Life was becoming a whirlwind (in a good way *cheesy smile*). Now the wind has swept me back.

I am definitely grateful for my followers and for the wonderful people out there that comment on my posts. But I sometimes feel like I am a dot in the blogosphere. I'm realizing the reality of that doesn't matter. I never created this blog to become the next Curly Nikki or Mahogany Curls. I just wanted to share with the world my natural hair journey and to hopefully inspire a person or two along the way. I want my blog to exist as a way for people to find information. I also decided that I want to delve into other topics...such as cooking, health, beauty, and more. I feel like I've touched the surface of those topics on here but it's time to *Trey Songz Voice* dive innnnnnnn.

Ok that was corny.

Oh..and I took these pictures the other day, thought I'd share them. I haven't done a length check in a while and I have no intentions on doing one any time soon. I'm more concerned about health than length. I will be doing quarterly length checks because length does ultimately determine whether my regimen is successful or not. Next one will be coming up at the end of this month.

Without further ado...

Friday, February 8, 2013

As I Am Coconut Cowash vs. Wen Fig Cleansing Conditioner

The Battle of the Cleansing Conditioners.

I recently purchased both of these products to become acquainted with using cleansing conditioners. These two products I have heard a lot about and I wanted to see how they would work with my hair. I have used them for over a month now so I am ready to share with you my experience...

I started with purchasing As I Am Coconut Cowash from Sally's Beauty Supply Store. The first time that I tried it I wasn't too thrilled with the outcome. I thought I would be head over heels for this product, especially after I opened the jar and fell in love with the smell. But after using it a couple of times I didn't particularly like the way that it made my hair feel. It felt stripped but sort of waxy. I couldn't detangle my hair like I imagined I should've been able hair was just blah.

I kept using it though...not sure of why.

Then I ordered Wen Fig Cleansing Conditioner off of When it arrived my hair was actually straightened so I had to wait a week to use it for the first time. I hated the smell. But loved the convenience of the pump (versus the As I am Coconut Cowash jar). My hair felt similar to how it felt with the As I Am Coconut Cowash. Not as waxy. Definitely couldn't tangle my hair with this product. Neither product quite did it for me.

Until I read the product instructions of Wen. The instructions state to leave the product in the hair for 3-5 minutes. This definitely did it for me. My hair felt way better than it felt when I used it the first time without leaving it in for even 30 seconds. I found that both products worked a bit better leaving them in longer.

Am I ultimately as impressed with the cleansing conditioner concept as I thought I would be? Nah. I think that I get the same, if not better, results from using a conditioner co-wash. Also, I think that since I am already washing my hair 3 times a week, I am not in dire need of using a cleansing conditioner. I will be using the cleansing conditioners about once a month but that's about it.

Have you had a good experience with using cleansing conditioners? If you have or have not, please share below!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Second Day(dream) Hair

I finally did it ya'll! I achieved second day hair that I actually like! And it was cake!

All I did was dampen my hair in the shower, and reapply my products in larger sections (Tresemme Naturals, Miss Jessie's Pillow Soft Curls, and Shea Butter mix ).

It cut my drying time in half. My hair was almost completely dry in about 15 minutes (versus the 45 minutes that it usually takes).

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Back to Normal

My definition of normal that is...

Currently using:
Tresemme Naturals Conditioner (as leave in)
Miss Jessies Pillow Soft Curls (as styler)
Raw Shea Butter and oils combo (as "sealer")

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Curly for two weeks. Back to straight. The versatility of natural hair.

 (But this is the last time I am straightening for a loooooong time! *crosses fingers*)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Road Trip!

So I took a trip to the Windy City...

(Collage Created by Moi with Photovisi)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

21 Questions

Kim, the lovely woman behind the Fancy Flair Lady...Stylishly Ever After blog did a 21 questions hair tag on her blog. I am sharing my answers with you all below. Thanks for the tag Kim!

1. Why did you start taking better care of your hair? I realized that my hair was not as healthy and as long as I believed it could be. I started to take better care of my hair once I came to this realization about three or four years ago.
2. What are your 2 favorite hair products? Shea Butter and Tresemme Naturals (I've been holding steady with these two!)
3. Who's hair did you admire as a child? Lisa from Saved By The Bell, Tia and Tamara Mowry, and Stacey Dash
4. What is your ultimate goal length? Waist Length is my ultimate ultimate goal length. Anything past that point needs to be cut lol.
5. How are you going to celebrate when you reach your ultimate goal length? Maybe I'll do a "bun drop" video on YouTube. Maybe not...Ok I'll celebrate by starting a protective style challenge though and announcing it on my blog!
6. Two styles you want to try at your goal length? I want to try a french braid and the most massive high bun that I can possibly achieve.
7. Which do you prefer: Health or Length? Health!
8. Which do you prefer: hair ties with no metal parts or butterfly clips? Hair ties with no metal parts. 
9. What products do you prefer: salon brands, organic brands, BSS brands, Drugstore brands, or other? I prefer organic brands first, but I don't mind using salon and/or drugstore brands. Whatever works!
10. Which product/technique do you think is over-rated? I would've said Miss Jessies a couple of months ago, but I'm actually a new-found fan of their Pillow Soft Curls product. I would say Wen is a bit overrated (I'll explain my personal opinion later)
11. Which product/technique do you think is under-rated? I think hair butters (shea butter, mango butter...) are definitely under-rated. 
12. What is your favorite part of your hair regimen? The time of the day when my wash n' go dries. Oh, and washing out my deep conditioner. I love how soft my hair feels afterwards. 
13. What is the most annoying part of your hair regimen? Putting the product through my wet hair. Though it doesn't take long...I wish there was a simpler way!
14. Oils or Butters? Butters...with oils mixed in!
15. Buns or Ponytails? Buns
16. Wigs or Weaves? Weaves
17. What is your opinion of growth aids? I have never used them or looked into using any. I guess whatever works for each individual person is their own personal business!
18. At what length do you consider hair long? A long and healthy MBL
19. When is the last time you visited a salon? Two week ago.
20. What do you like to surf most often: YouTube channels, personal blogs, or hair forums? Hair forums. I love reading the different responses to threads that are started. It's my down-time entertainment!
21. And finally, what piece of advice would you give to someone just starting out on their hair journey? BE PATIENT! Do not give up. You will have your bad hair days, get over it! It's all a part of the journey. Look forward to the destination and enjoy the journey!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Straight Hair Longevity

Straight hair or Curly hair? I choose curls! But for the 3-4 times a year that I have my hair trimmed and do my length checks, I visit the hair salon to have my hair straightened.

I usually try to make my straight hair last long so that I do not feel like it has gone to waste. Here are some ways in which I make sure that my hair stays straight for at least two weeks:

1. Use a minimum amount of products: One thing I hate is having my soft, flowing, bouncy straight hair become a stiff mess because of an overuse of products. I avoid this by making sure that I avoid being heavy handed with the products I use. My hair becomes weighed down easily when it is straight.  I make sure that I use a dime sized amount of a light-weight product (such as coconut oil) and only use it when needed.

2. Protect from moisture: I'm only able to achieve straight hair that lasts long in the cooler months. But I have to be cautious of taking long hot steamy showers because my hair will revert quickly. Using a shower cap is not enough for me. I have to make sure that my hair is either wrapped or pin curled with a scarf wrapped tightly (but not too tightly) around my head while taking a shower. This helps to preserve my natural hair without having to deal with puffy edges or frizzy hair afterward.

3. Bed time!: Straight hair is not the time for me to be lazy. I might be able to break the natural hair commandments and go to sleep on my cotton pillowcase without a scarf or bonnet. But I absolutely cannot do this when my hair is straight. I make sure that I either wrap my hair or pin curl it each and every night (and/or naptime ;). This helps to maintain my style and also helps me to avoid drying out my hair on the unforgivable cotton pillowcase. 

Good luck to all my straight haired naturals (whether temporary or permanent)! Hopefully these tips help!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Shhhhh...Some of my favorite secret concoctions

I have a confession to make:

I secretly love mixing and blending up a bowl of hair *magic* in the kitchen! I have been trying to become more skillful with using my hands in the kitchen. In addition to trying new recipes (the food type, not the hair type lol), I have been also mixing together some of my own "juices and berries" mixtures for my hair.

The first one that I will share with you is a deep conditioner blend.

In a bowl I mix together:

2 cups of Tresemme Naturals 
1 cup of a cheapie conditioner (I used V05)
1 tbsp of Olive Oil
1 tbsp of Grape Seed Oil ceramide
1/4 cup of Alma Oil (from the Indian Store)

This batch will last me for at least 2 or three deep conditions.

I love it because it makes my hair incredibly strong and soft. I also love it because I'm using Grape Seed Oil, which is high in ceramide content.

Information about ceramides:

Ceramides perform a "barrier function" and help reduce the hair's overall porosity. Ceramides bind to the hair fiber in damaged, vulnerable areas to help prevent natural moisture and protein loss that occurs when we manipulate our hair. Natural ceramides keep the hair fiber tight, and cuticles flat so that the hair shines and has low porosity.
If you happen to use this mix please let me know how it works out for you. Or feel free to share any mixes of your own in the comments below!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Elle's 13 Hair Goals for 2013

“If you think you can do it, or you think you can’t do it, you are right.”
– Henry Ford

13. Deep Condition Weekly
12. Moisturize and Seal at least three times a week
11. Protective Style more often (buns, updos, twists...)
10. Try at least 10 new hair styles this year. Maybe even invent some of my own!
9. Trim/Dust ends at least 3 times this year
8. Figure out how to minimize shed hair and breakage (Going to try some new stuff ya'll!)
7. Henna, Henna, Henna - At least once a month
6. Read more blogs, Browse Forums, and Watch YouTube to learn more about natural hair!
5. Protect my hair either through using a scarf or a bonnet EVERY night
4. Pre-Poo!
3. Find or mix a staple hair detangler (This has become my latest struggle!)
2. Try some more new hair products.
1. *Reach or narrow in on waist length (WL)!!*