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I ❤ African Threading

8 Apr

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Last year back in October I was introduced to a new stretching method called  African Threading. I used this method to stretch my hair without using any heat.  Just to give you an idea African Threading is when you take your hair after washing and conditioning and wrap it with a string of thread (the thread used to sew in weaves) tightly around a small to medium section of hair from the root to tip, when you get to the end make a knot.  Don’t worry I will link videos demonstrating the technique.

I used this method a couple of times, once to stretch my hair for the mini twists I did in October and a second time after I lightened my hair . I really like using this method to stretch my hair opposed to using the blow dryer. You can not do this method if you need your hair dried and styled right away, this method is a two day process if you want to get the super stretched blow dried look or you can just leave it the Plaits for one whole day or overnight or as long as your need for your to fully dry and your results would be more as if you used the tention method to blow your hair out. This method is easy and once you get the hang of it doesn’t take long.

African threading is a great alternative to blow drying, you get the same results without the worries of heat damage. This will be my go to for stretching my hair from now on unless I need my hair dried and stretched immediately.

The first time trying African Threading in Oct '12

The first time trying African Threading in Oct ’12

African Threading Results 2nd time
African Threading Results 2nd time

And here’s a video on the African Threading Technique in great detail

So until next time Ladies

Thanx for stopping by

Have a happy HHJ

Peace & Blessings

Ambee 🙂

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Let Go of Those Damaged Ends!

13 Mar

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Are you holding on to dead, dry-brittle, see through thin end? Why? Ladies don’t hold on to  those raggedy thin ends just to have some length.  Whether your ends are damaged from coloring, excessive heat use, chemical damage,  brittle-dry, full of single strand knots (SSKs) or just split ends there’s no point in holding on to them you’re  only holding your hair back. Unhealthy ends just doesn’t look good either. I know you’ve seen it before, a lady wearing her hair down or in a ponytail and it may be considered a “nice length” but her ends were see through and split, now you don’t want to walk around with your hair looking like that just to to have a little length do you? Once you let go of those damaged and unhealthy ends and stay consistent to your regimen and moisturizing your hair it will grow back in no time GUARANTEED.

There’s a lot of controversy when it comes to how often you should trim your ends. Some people would say every 4 to 8 weeks some would say every 8 to 12 weeks and so on. From my own experience in my journey and own opinion, I feel the  only reason would you have to trim your hair every few or several weeks is when you are consistently flat ironing and blow drying your hair and/or inadequately caring for your ends, if so you will at some point start to see some split ends, breakage, brittle-dry ends, ends that wont hold definition and/or start to form single strand knots and those are signs it’s time for a trim.

I’ve found that since I stopped using heat almost two years ago I don’t trim often at all.  I’ve only done two major trims with some dusting here and there. So if you’re not using heat and you’re moisturize your ends properly chances are you will not need to trim your ends every 4 to 8 or 12 weeks because your ends are in good condition. Other than that you are just cutting off the length you’ve retained. Now don’t get me wrong your ends split from daily wear and tear from styling, protective styling has helped me with this.

On the other hand if you are holding on to damaged, split, unhealthy ends you are only going to cause yourself to have to cut off more hair later down the line because the ends will only get worse splitting further up the hair shaft and eventually breaking off. So just let it go ladies. The schedule you decide for your trims are up to you, you know your hair and what kind of condition it’s in because you’ve been the one taking care or not taking care of your hair so you will definitely know when it’s time to trim. Once you spot the signs that it’s time for a  trim, you should do it right away you’ll trim less hair if you don’t wait.

Here are some pics of my hair last year,  after I did  my first major trim I finally got irritated with my ends not holding definition and cut off all my heat damage. My hair took off after that trim. So ladies please just let them go, your hair will grow back I PROMISE!

Before I cut off the heat damage

Before I cut off the heat damage

After cutting off the heat damage

After cutting off the heat damage

The hair that was cut

The hair that was cut

 

My hair 5 mths later

My hair 5 mths later

Mini twists 7 mths later

Mini twists 7 mths later

 

 

 

 

Well ladies until next time

Peace & Blessings

Ambee 🙂

Managing Natural Hair, the Kinky Coily & the Curly

17 Feb

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In the beginning of my journey keeping my hair manageable and pliable was two of my biggest problems. Part of it had to do with some of the products I was using that weren’t really moisturizing my hair as it should but it mostly were my techniques and my being lazy that was contributing to my hair being so matted, tangled and full of knots.

Hard to manage hair can cause you to spend a lot of unnecessary time detangling and styling your hair and can cause you a lot of frustration in your journey. Around month 5 into my journey I started getting a little lazy with my hair I was wearing a puff basically every day, I wasn’t deep conditioning, or using a leave-in conditioner. After wearing a puff for like 2 weeks straight and not thoroughly detangling my hair my hair had formed some serious knots, at this point in my journey I started to make a few changes and as the months passed a started adding a few more changes and later I started to notice a difference in my hair’s manageability.

Here are some tips I want to share with you that helped me get my hair’s manageability under control.

• Detangle- Detangling is a critical part of your regimen whether you like to detangle before a wash or after, you should thoroughly detangle your hair. Detangling helps remove shed hairs, knots, and tangles. Going to long without detangling your hair becomes matted, the shed hairs gets all caught with the tangles and cause knots resulting in hard to comb/detangle hair and breakage.

• Moisturizing- Moisturizing is very important when it comes to your hair’s manageability keeping your hair well conditioned and moisturized will help combat tangles and knots. When your hair is dry and has curled/coiled up on itself it can become tangled, matted and impossible to manipulate, so make sure to keep your hair moisturized to help keep your hair pliable and easy to manage.

• Make sure to focus on moisturizing and sealing your ends, doing so will keep your kinks, coils, and curls from knotting and tangling when they clump together at the ends.

• Wash your hair in sections and in a downward motion opposed to the loose state and rough back and forth (scratching) motion you’re used to which can cause your strands to tangle and knot. Washing your hair in a downward motion, working the cleanser down to your ends also so helps so release shed hairs which can get tangled in your curls/coils or single strands knots that you may have.

• Deep Condition with heat- this has help aid in reducing my tangles. Deep conditioning with heat opens (lefts) the cuticles allowing the moisture to penetrate the scalp and hair shaft resulting in softer, more manageable hair.

• Keep your hair stretched- when you allow your hair to curl/coil up on its self causing your hair to tangle and knot.

• Trim your ends- sometimes you experience knots and tangles because your ends may have single strand knots (SSKs) and when your strands wrap around each other or you’re detangling and removing shed hairs the strands become tangled and knotted along with the knots on the ends of your hair. Trim your ends to get rid of single strand knot and to maintain healthy ends.

• Rinse your conditioners out with cold or cool water- Rinsing your conditioners out with cold or cool water closes and seals the cuticles on the strands, locking in moisture and leaving the hair smooth and less prone to frizz and tangles.

• Try doing an ACV rinse, like the cold/cool water technique, doing an ACV rinse can also help close and smooth the cuticles resulting in smoother hair.

• Be gentle when manipulating your hair, rushing while handle your hair can cause your create tangle and knots. Instead of ripping at your kinks, coils, and curls or yanking at them with a comb when they become tangled and knotted, smooth and rub the tangles and knots out.

• If your hair is dry and you want to manipulate it dampen it with water with or without aloe vera juice to make help more pliable.
*Tip* Aloe vera juice moisturizes and softens the hair.

• The last tip I am going to leave you with is to reduce the amount of heat you’re currently using on your hair. An excessive amount of heat (blow drying, flat ironing etc) can dry your hair our especially your ends; being that they are the oldest parts of your hair you should be taking extra care of them to keep them healthy and tangle free. Constant heat styling will cause you to have to trim more than you probably would prefer. So opt for other options to stretch your hair like flexi rod sets or roller sets (perfect for transitioners).

I hope these tips help some of you natural out there, they have made a world of difference in my regimen and hair’s health.

Until next time

Thanx for stopping by

Peace & Blessings Have a happy HHJ

Ambee 

How I Moisturize My Twists & Minimize Frizz

12 Feb

The main reason I like to wear twists and mini twists is, it’s an easy way for me to keep my hair moisturized. I find that when I wear my hair in out styles during the colder months my hair doesn’t retain any moisture, twist give me the opportunity to give my hair a break and keep my hair well moisturized especially my ends. What I do is  really nothing major, no special products or anything but I do have a trick I use to help to keep the frizz at a minimum.

First I like to spray my hair with my water and aloe vera juice concentrating on my ends then slightly dampen the length of my hair and scalp.

Next I take a water based moisturizer or leave-in into my palms and literally squeeze it into my twists, I like to squeeze the product into my twists versus smoothing it onto the twists because that creates frizz.

Then I seal my scalp,ends and twists with castor oil, JBCO or my oil mix or I seal my twists with my homemade shea butter & oil mix.

That’s it, that’s my simple 3-step regimen to keeping my twists and ends moisturized and keeping my frizz at a minimum. This 3-step method I use is similar to the L.O.C method, a great method I use to moisturize and seal your hair. The products depend on your hair type, needs, and preferences.  I like to use heavy butters, creams, and oils on my hair because it’s so thick and always thirsty especially in this cold dry weather. And I don’t worry about the water and water based products shrinking my hair up, I just wrap my twists as I were to if  my hair was straightened or relaxed and the next day I still have my length, you can pin your twists down or stretch them in a ponytail but I don’t mind shrinkage so some nights I skip the whole wrapping/stretching thing.

Mini Twists Day 1

Mini Twists Day 1

Another close up of the minis (before retwisting)

Another close up of the minis (before retwisting)

Mini twists 2 wks in

Mini twists 2 wks in

Days before I retwisted them still not much frizz just puffy roots

Days before I retwisted them still not much frizz just puffy roots

I used this method on my loose twists I done on dry hair

I used this method on my loose twists I done on dry hair

Until next time

Thanx for Stopping by

Peace & Blessings & Happy Hair Growing 🙂

The L.O.C Method- How I Moisturize my Hair

11 Dec

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I heard about the L.O.C method on YouTube last year, early in my journey but it wasn’t until the early part of this year I actually tried it and decided to incorporate it into my moisturizing regimen.

L.O.C is an acronym for liquid, oil, and cream. You apply your products in layers first you moisturize your hair by adding a liquid (water, water based leave-in etc) then seal the moisture in with an oil and seal the oil with a cream or butter.

This method keeps my hair soft, supple , moisturize for 2 days at a time, this is the perfect method to use for the winter months because having the three layers of products help hold in all the moisture you’re putting into your hair, so the harsh cold dry air won’t suck the moisture out your hair so quick.

My hair before moisturizing

My hair before moisturizing

Another after shot

Another after shot

After moisturizing using the L.O.C method

After moisturizing using the L.O.C method

Since using this method I can honestly say I have seen a difference in my hair, less breakage and shedding, my ends aren’t brittle, I think this method even makes a difference in my twist and braid out results.

If you have fine or thin hair and think layering three products on your hair every night or every other night will cause build up or weight your hair down try using a light hand when applying your products or try to use product that don’t  contain heavy fillers like petroleum, mineral oil, lanolin etc. Maybe you can use water or a light water based leave-in, seal with a light oil, a topping it with a small amount of a really whipped butter or buttercream.

I hope this helps someone, it sure has made a world of difference in my hair.

Until next time

Peace &  Blessings

Happy HHJ

Ambee 🙂

Basic tools for Natural Hair

29 Nov

I sooo want this comb!

Going natural and starting a regimen along with trying to find products and tools can be overwhelming. The one thing you should remember is to keep it simple especially in the beginning. It’s so easy to become a product junkie and start buying into every product or tool you see on YouTube and the blogs. Another thing to remember is that what works for someone else may not work for you even if you’re related or have a similar hair type, so always do lots of research by watching and reading reviews on products before you go out and purchase products and tools. You should also keep in mind that you don’t need to spend lots of money on products either a lot of products many naturals use can be found in your kitchen cabinets or in your local drugstores, grocery stores, or health food stores.  Anywho, I wanted to share the basic tools I’ve used through out my journey so far and maybe it can help someone looking to start their own regimen.

1. Sulfate free shampoo- Sulfate free shampoos cleanses your hair without all the harsh cleansers that are found in your regular shampoos, which strips your hair of everything even it’s natural oils causing your hair to feel dry and sometimes become matted.

2. Conditioners-Conditioners have so many purposes in a natural’s regimen they can be used for deep conditioning, rinse out conditioning treatments after washes, co-washes, leave-ins and some can even be used a stylers. (Make sure to read the labels or instructions to determine whether a conditioner should be used as a leave-in, rinse out, or deep conditioner but all three should have a place in your regimen)

3. Detangling tools- Detangle tools can vary from your fingers, to wide tooth combs, paddle brushes, The Tangle Teezer, Denmen brushes and many many others. These tools help you to detangle your hair and remove shed hairs & tangles, they’re also good for smoothing product through your hair for a more even distribution.

4. Oils- Oils are a MUST in every natural’s regimen. Oils help to seal in the moisture in your strands after applying water or a water based product to your strands. Oils are another mutli-purpose product, you can use your oils as a hot oil treatment,  a pre-poo treatment, to baggy your ends, oil rinses, sealing your ends, to help reduce frizz when unraveling twists or braids, adding to your conditioners for an extra lil kick or to add slip to a conditioner for detangling.

5. Spray bottle filled with water- Another must have for any natural, water is the best moisturizer for natural hair. You can use your spray bottle to re-wet your hair if it starts to dry while you’re styling or detangling.

6. Applicator bottles (optional)- Applicator bottles are great to have on hand to store your oils in. Because the bottle top has an applicator tip it’s easier to apply oil to your scalp and hair without having to pour it in your hands and have  it running all down your arms. I hate that! ;(

7. Hair pins, clips, headbands, and other accessories (optional)- Hair pins, bobby pins, headbands and other accessories are essential in a regimen. These simple accessories could be just what you need to change or spice up a hairstyle. No matter if you have a TWA or waist-length hair you can never have to many hair accessories.

8. A pair hair shears- This is another essential in your regimen, you should keep a good pair of shears on hand to keep your ends trimmed, dusted and to cut out SSKs or tangles.

9. Styling aids- Styling aids come in many different variations; creams, butters, pomades, gels, gel-creams, and many others and help hold your twist, braids, curls, and coils in place to create your styles.

10. Flexi rod or perm rods- Curling rods are great to have on hand to do curly styles, braid/twist ~n~ curl outs, adding curls to the ends of twists and braids, and they’re a transitioner’s bestfriend because they create a curl that helps blend the two different hair textures together (the new growth and relaxed ends).

11. Butterfly clips or clips- These help you to keep your hair in place and sectioned off as you apply product or style your   hair.

12. Last but definitely not least is a satin scarf, bonnet or pillowcase – You will need a least one of these things to protect your hair from those cotton sheets, pillows and pillowcases and blankets from sucking the moisture out your hair while you’re sleeping. No more waking up to broken hairs on your pillows and sheets! *TIP* You should buy at least two bonnets, pillowcases, and/or scarves to rotate between, the oils still soak through the fabrics some, so you’ll need to wash them often to prevent your face from breaking out. 🙂

Oh! and one more last thing, one of the most important things you’ll need along your journey is patience. It is so important to remain patient during your journey no matter how tough things get. Not everything someone does to their hair will work for you so you have to stick it out and try different things and techniques until you find the one that works best for you.

I hope this helps someone out there! 🙂

Thanx for stopping by and until next time

Have a happy HHJ  Peace & Blesses

Ambee 🙂

Crown & Glory Method

13 Jun

 

    ImageAbout a month or so ago I came across a video on the Crown & Glory Method and I decided I would be giving it a try this summer and probably continue throughout the rest of the year.

Some of you may already be familiar with this method, but the main purpose of the Crown & Glory Method is to retain length and thickness. You’re basically using extensions such as cornrows, individual braids, twists, etc. to protective style. You keep your braids/twists in for 2-3 months at a time and keep your scalp and braids moisturized. Rebraid or twist the braids/twists around the outer perimeter as needed to keep your braids/twists looking fresh and to prevent build-up. 

THAT PRETTY MUCH SUMS IT UP!

Here are a few tips for the Crown & Glory Method:

  •  Keep your scalp & braids/twists moisturized 
  •  Try to minimize styling and pulling for 1-2 weeks
  •  Make sure braids/twists aren’t too tight
  •  Do not try to braids/twists all your edges
  •  Make sure your braids/twists aren’t too heavy
  •  Make sure your braids/twists aren’t too small
  •  Make sure the parting isn’t too small, so hair can have room to grow
  •  Sleep on a satin case or use a satin scarf
  •  You can wash or co-wash your braids/twists
  •  Use a little Witch Hazel and hot water to remove build-up from your scalp

The Crown & Glory Method seems to be a great way to protective style. Extensions braids/twists can last for months and doesn’t require much maintenance. If you’re looking to give your hair a break for or trying to retain your length, try incorporating the Crown & Glory Method into your regimen. I think you’ll really benefit from it!

Thanx for stopping by until next time Peace & Blessing ~HHJ~