Tag Archives: natural hair journey
Image

2 Years on My HHJ

6 Jul

1 mthHello Lovelies!

May 10th was my journey anniversary! I can’t believe that it’s already been two whole years since I started my HHJ, time really flies when you’re having fun and learning! My journey has become SO much more than about just hair, my journey has opened my eyes to how unhealthy I have been with my hair as well as my body. My hair has come such a long way in these last two years, and it has really flourished over the last 14 months since getting rid of my heat damaged ends.

My hair’s texture has definitely changed, my kinks and coils started out loose and my hair was very thin and unhealthy. Lol *Thinking Back* I remember my pitiful attempts at certain styles, the many fails, it has definitely been trail and error. My hair was so ugly  and unhealthy but I knew my mission and I kept striving with my  head held high! My confidence and vision was I needed to keep pushing and thats all you need ladies is CONFIDENCE,  even though many days I felt like my hair looked like crap I never let it show and that’s what others saw.

This isn’t an update so I’m just going to keep it short, I’m going insert a collage of my hair And it’s progress over the lat two years. I hope it encourages someone struggling on their journey to keep on keeping on! It gets better not necessarily easier but it definitely gets better!The BeginningMore of the JourneyYr 1 the Journey Continues

The Journey Yr 1

Advertisements

It’s a Wrap!…Protective Style Challenge Final Wrap

27 Mar

Hey World!

If  you’ve been following me you know I’ve been on a six month protective/low manipulation style challenge with YouTuber Deb a.k.a KinkyNappyHappy since September of  last year. Last Wednesday was actually the last day but I’ve been a little ill so I wasn’t able to post then. I really enjoyed this challenge, I think I did a good job of keeping my hair in some type of protective or low manipulation style and keeping my hair and ends moisturized. I didn’t do any heat styling or blow drying. I didn’t trim just dusted my ends back in December.  OMG! the time FLEW by! It seems as if I was just posting my second month update! smh

I spent the first quarter of the challenge in mini twists  but after those were out I played around with a few flat twist updos and worked on my flat twisting skills, something I want to become better at. This is my second time doing a protective style challenge I did a personal protective challenge 2011 Fall/Winter but it was only for three months. I will definitely be joining  Ms. Deb and the other ladies again this coming Fall/Winter season for another protective style challenge. My hair seems to thrive off a good hair care regimen and protective styling in the colder months so that’s what I think I’m going to stick to.

Other than the benefits of giving my hair a break and helping to retain moisture this protective challenge has kept me from buying and trying a lot of products.  Overall this protective/low manipulation style challenge was a success. I don’t want make this a long post and I really don ‘t have much else to say. So with being said I’m going to post some pictures to reflect my journey throughout the challenge Enjoy!

Until next time

Thanx for stopping by

Have a Happy HHJ

Ambee1359850999736

My low manipulation style

My low manipulation style

Right view

Right view

My mini twists had major stretch!!

My mini twists had major stretch!!

100_3611

Mini Twists Day 1

Mini Twists Day 1

Roll tuck ~n~ pin style

Roll tuck ~n~ pin style

My twists after being wrapped

My twists after being wrapped

Party Hair

Party Hair

100_3919

The cinnanbun

The cinnanbun

Birthday Look #1

Birthday Look #1

Birthday Look #2

Birthday Look #2

100_4101100_410413591437827111359145008883100_4120

Protective Style Challenge Mid-Point Length Check

12 Feb

I am so ashamed to even post this because it is way past overdue but here’s my mid point length check for Deb’s Protective Style Challenge. These picture were taken January 1st or 2nd.

The back (Jan '13)

The back (Jan ’13)

(Sept '12) *the back

(Sept ’12) *the back

Right Side (Jan '13)

Right Side (Jan ’13)

 right side (Sept '12)

right side (Sept ’12)

Left side (Jan '13)

Left side (Jan ’13)

Left side (Sept '12)

Left side (Sept ’12)

The front (Jan '13)

The front (Jan ’13)

Front (Sept '12)

Front (Sept ’12)

Protective Style Challenge Check- In months 3 & 4

11 Feb

           Hey Ya’ll Happy New Year!  Happy Black History Month! I hope everyone had a happy and safe holiday season. Lol It’s been a while since I last posted, I’ve been writing but not posting (LAZY!) but I’m back starting off with an update. 🙂

Time has really been flying I’m already 4 months into my protective style challenge with Deb from KinkyNappyHappy on YouTube. I haven’t done an update since I think early December smh. I’ve tried a few styles and products since.  

The weekend of Christmas I took my mini twists out and I’ve confirmed what I already suspected after wearing my box braids  for almost 3 months; if  I keep my hair in twists or braids for 6 weeks or longer my hair starts to lock in the back and crown areas. Thankfully the locking didn’t cause me any problems or breakage when taking my mini twists out. I think me keeping my hair moisturized throughout the 8 weeks they were in helped me with being able to work through the parts of my hair that had locked without it breaking because my hair wasn’t dry and crispy. It took me a course of 2 days to remove my twists smh.

I wore my hair in a cinnabun for two days, this was my first time trying this style I really liked it. On the second day I finger detangled and removed as much shed hair as I could then followed with my regular regimen. I wore the cinnabun just about every day until my birthday.

My birthday was on the 8th of January, so you know I had to “Jazz it up” a bit, which was January’s theme for the challenge. Jazz it up means to add some accessories, makeup or even a funky updo style to your looks for the month. I don’t have many accessories although I did wear a cute headband on NYE with the cinnabun, and I wore a little makeup on two occasions. I tried a couple new products too, flaxseed gel and Original Moxie’s Oasis gel reviews coming soon. I’ve been doing a pretty good job of keeping my hair moisturized and keeping my ends protected. We have 2 months left of this challenge and I plan on sticking it out until the end. I have a few styles I want to try before the challenge ends and I also plan on lightening my hair again so stay tuned for that!

Mini twist out

Mini twist out


The cinnanbun

The cinnanbun


Birthday Look #1

Birthday Look #2

Birthday Look #2

 

Until next time Thanx for stopping by

Peace & Blessings and Have a 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 🙂

Protective Style: Mini Twists

15 Nov

Hey All!

I finally stopped being lazy and decided to do some mini twists in my hair after obsessing over them for weeks . I styled my mini twists on co-washed and super stretched hair. It took me a course of 5 days to do my mini twists mainly because I had homework and had to be a mommy but also because I took my time twisting. I used Youtube’s Naptural85’s mini twists technique. I love this technique, I used it the last time I did my mini twists. This technique ensures that your twists will last more than 2-3 weeks. To see Naptural85’s mini twists technique check it here 

I sectioned my hair into 3 sections in the front and one big section in the back. I used my homemade shea butter and aloe vera gel mix to twist my hair and I used a rat tail comb to part my hair. I made sure to keep my twists all around the same size and they were twisted tight starting at the root to prevent puffiness. I used the angled parting technique to ensure my twists would look full and not scalpy.

Here are some picture of the progress of the twists

 


I love the way my twists came out! They’re neat and tight and have some length, my hair has definitely grown since the twists I had in back in April. I plan on keeping these twists in until the beginning of next month and I will be turning this low manipulation style into some cute protective styles. I am going to use this opportunity to dust my ends a little. As mentioned in my update I will be keeping them moisturized with water & aloe vera juice spritz and various moisturizers and sealing with my oil mix (EVOO, J.B.C.O, Jojoba & Avocado oil) and castor oil or J.B.C.O on my scalp and that’s it. I plan to keep things as simple as possible.

Once I finished all the twists I used Cantu’s coconut curling cream and Smooth & Shine Polishing curl activator gel to define my ends. I then wrapped my twists as if I would wrap my hair if it was straightened, to help the twists lay right.

Here’s a pic of my hair the next day

My twist one week in

Going on two weeks and they’re still looking good a lil shurken because I haven’t been wrapping them after I moisturize but I’m still loving them and they can easily be stretched back. Mini twists are by far one of my favorite styles to do with my hair they’re so convenient and versatile this style is definitely a staple!

Until next time Thanx for stopping by

Peace & Blessings Have a Happy HHJ 🙂

             ARE YOU PROTECTIVE STYLING? 

                Let me know in the comment section your favorite protective style

Protective/Low Manipulation Style #1

28 Sep

My low manipulation style

Last week I started my Protective/Low Manipulation Style Challenge, this is the style I decided to start with.

I co-washed my hair with Tresemme Naturals conditioner & DC’d with just my old African Best Olive Oil DC (which I not like) sealed it with jojoba oil and sat under my heating cap.

I moisturized, sealed, and twisted my hair to air dry then two days later dampened my hair with my water and aloe vera juice mix to make my hair pliable and also because I used my Oyin Handmade Shine & Define Serum and the directions say to apply to wet hair to reduce frizz. I also used my Original Moxie’s Just Gel on my flat twists. (Reviews coming soon)

Thanx for stopping by & until next time

Peace & Blesses!

Left view

Back view

Right view

Fall/Winter Protective/Low Manipulation Style Challenge

27 Sep

 

This is a really cute protective style!

Saturday I started my protective/low manipulation style challenge, it’s getting cold fast here in Detroit and classes are going to be demanding soon so this is the perfect time to start. The weather is changing which means so will my wardrobe, as the temperature drops I’ll pulling out my sweaters, scarves, and my wool coat. Our clothes and the cold weather can have damaging effects on our hair which leads to breakage.

I want to protect my hair from the cold weather and the rough materials of the clothes so from 9/22/12 until 3/20/13 I will be wearing my hair in protective/low manipulation styles. I also find that when I leave my hair in styles like twists, braids, etc. and keep them moisturized I retain my length easier.

Protective styling during the colder months is essential to my regimen because having my hair out in the brisk winds and freezing weather we have here in Michigan will have my hair extremely dry and dull which would lead to SSKs and breakage. On top of that wearing my scarves, sweaters, and my wool coat can cause major damage if I’m wearing my hair out daily being that my hair is pass shoulder length it will be constantly rubbing up against those rough textured materials cause my ends to become dry and soon they will become brittle and raggedy. If I keep my hair in protective styles or low manipulation styles I figure I will be able to keep my hair moisturized and my ends protected and if I keep my ends in good condition I will have to trim less and retain more length. I’m an inch and a half or so  away from APL so I’m trying to gain and retain as much length as I possibly can. In my opinion wearing protective styles give you the chance to discover and focus on weak spots and pin point any problems you may be experiencing. I discovered earlier this year while wearing my mini twists a few weak and thin spots I have from heat damage and lack of moisture, since then I know to pay attention to and take special care of my hair in those areas.

Moisturizing my hair is essential as well during this challenge. Well conditioned and moisturized hair is easier to manipulate and is less prone to tangles and breakage.

I will be doing a combination of protective styles and low manipulation styles throughout this challenge. What’s the difference between a protective style and a low manipulation style? A protective style is a style where your ends are completely protected or tucked away. Twists, braids with extensions (Crown & Glory Method), roll tuck and pin styles, french rolls, bantu knots, wigs, full weaves, and buns are some examples of protective styles. Low manipulation styles are styles that allow you to have your hair in some kind of style that doesn’t require constant or a lot of manipulation once the style has been set. Mini twists, loose twists, mini braids, flexi rod or cold rod sets, straw sets, braid outs, twists outs and wash and gos are some examples of low manipulation styles. A low manipulation style can easily become a protective style by just simply gathering the hair into a bun or roll, tuck and pin style  or any other style that will completely hide and protects the ends hints the name protective style. 🙂

Ladies with TWAs can do protective and low manipulation styles as well using extensions, wigs, weaves and wash & gos.

My Regimen for the Protective/Low Manipulation Style Challenge

Pre-Pooing with a hot oil treatment and finger detangle

Wash weekly or bi-weekly (Depending on style) & whether I wash my hair using shampoo or Co-wash will depend on the ingredients I use in my hair or how my hair and scalp feels

Deep Condition with conditioning cap after each wash or co-wash( I also will be adding castor oil to my deep conditioner of choice)

Egg & Honey Protein treatment once a month

I will only use heat (blow dryer) on my hair NO MORE  than twice a month

I will NOT be doing any major trims just dusting my ends as needed (Last trim was the end of August)

My hair will be in a protective/low manipulation style at least 5 days out of the week

I will be moisturized daily and applying J.B.C.O, castor oil or my oil mix to my scalp daily

I will be posting a monthly update & posting pics of my hair at the beginning of the challenge, mid point & the end of the challenge

I don’t use many tools on my hair I finger detangle for the most part only use my widetooth comb to make sure I’ve removed all shed hair or when I’m being lazy and I use my faux denman when doing certain styles

The products I will be using will change for time to time because I’m still on my product quest

I will be drinking more water and not just because I’m growing out my hair but because I know I should be drinking more water

I will also TRY to take my Hair, Skin & Nail vitamins but I’m going to make any promises I HATE taking pills and their so big! Lol

That’ s pretty much it!

*Disclaimer* I have alter this challenge and my regimen according to what I feel MY HAIR needs. I’ve added a few things to my regimen in hopes to help my hair stay moisturized and protected during the coming cold weather

I hope this will help some one

Thanx for stopping by & until next time

Peace & Blessings

Current length *the back the longest layer almost APL*

 Right side

Left side *I was getting lazy with camera*

Front

My First Blowout!

16 Sep

This is my hair in February Blow out NO Heat No hairdryer

Last weekend I blew my hair out with the dryer for the time in a year and 4 months and BOY was I blew away by the results!

I washed and deep conditioned my hair Saturday using Aubrey’s Organic Replenishing Shampoo & I Dc’d with Original Moxie’s Intense Quench Conditioner (reviews coming soon). My original plan was to blow my hair out and set my hair in bantu knots but after an hour of blowing my hair out using the tension method I decided to just do a simple twist out. Unfortuntely I didn’t take any pictures because I was running late for church and later at my little cousin’s party I was so busy snapping pics of the kids I forgot all about my hair. Smh

To blow my hair out I used

My Gold N’ Hot blow dryer w/o the a comb

Grapseed oil

Tresemme’s Thermal Creation heat tamer spray

This is my hair blow out now

Thanx for stopping by  & until next time

Peace & Blessings

It all Started With a Speech….My Journey the First Year

16 Aug

Last year after watching my first video on how to grow long and thick African-American hair along with a few of Naptural85’s (My FAV) videos on YouTube to do some research for an oral speech, I wanted to start my own HHJ (Healthy Hair Journey). All the tips that I learned reminded me of all of  the things my Mommy used to do to my hair as a little girl, when I had a lot of hair. No, to minimum heat use, keeping my hair moisturized, trimming my ends, sleeping with a bonnet or scarf , no chemicals were all the things my Mom would nag me about all the time, even in my relaxed days. Everything was starting to make sense to me now, why my hair wasn’t growing like it used to.

My hair 1 year before I started my HHJ, notice how thin &lifeless it is.

Immediately I stopped using heat and started a simple regimen.  I didn’t do much but I tried to stay consistent with washing or co-washing, and moisturizing. I didn’t know how to do any styles  other than a wet flat twist out, which I didn’t know I was doing at the time and my handy-dandy Puff.

I spent as much time as I could on YouTube watching videos from length retention tips, hairstyles, product reviews and whatever else I stumbled across about natural hair that caught my attention. I learned early not to get caught up in all the different bandwagons that were out there and to also appreciate and accept MY hair.

The TOTAL focus of my journey is to have healthy thick hair and has been since day one. I wanted my hair to be thick and full looking again.  I was retaining length but due to heat abuse and lack of moisture my hair was really unhealthy, thin and lifeless. So I set my mind to start a simple regimen of  monthly mayo & egg protein treatments, washing, conditioning, and applying some Olive oil weekly. I planned to moisture nightly when redid my flat twist. I told myself that I would stick to it no matter how frustrated I got, how hard it would be and I definitely wasn’t going to relax again so I felt I had no choice but to learn how to care for and style my own hair. I just wanted healthy hair again.

Before I knew it two months rolled around and I was still keeping up with my regimen. I even co-wahed from time to time which I recently discovered that I was doing very wrong. Lol Needless to say things were going smooth for the most part I even attempted a few styles I saw YouTube, a couple actually come out cute too! As I look back I was doing a lot of things wrong then too but the most important thing was I was sticking to a regimen and keeping my hair moisturized.

I actually never felt weird or anything going out with my hair totally shrunken, I would actually forget that my hair was in its natural state until someone would be looking at me like I was crazy but it didn’t bother me. To my surprise many people took to seeing me with my natural hair texture well and the first two compliments I received from someone outside of my family, boyfriend, and friends were from guys. I was in the gas station one day and this guy ask me was my hair real, now I’m looking around because I knew he wasn’t talking to me I wasn’t wearing any weave. So he asks me again this time I realize he is talking to me, I tell him “Yes” but I have this confused look on my face (mind you I would always forget that my hair would be in its natural state) he proceeds to say that my hair was pretty I thanked him and left.  I really felt comfortable with my hair.

2mths into my HHJ
Style I was wearing in the gas station (wet flat twist out)

As far as products I started out just using everything I already had. As time progressed I slowly bought products here and there. I wasn’t really into checking ingredients then, I did stop using sulfate though. So far I haven’t repurchased many of the products I’ve used I just move on to my next interest.

Time was really flying before I knew it had been 6mths since I lasted used any heat and I was still sticking to my regimen but I had gotten lazy with twisting my hair and started wearing a puff most of the time, I started to experience SSKs (single strand knots). They were so bad I didn’t want to detangle my hair and at time I wasn’t washing my hair in sections, which I later realized was partly the cause of the SSKs. This is also when I started finger detangling.

One day I was on a website reading about ACV rinses and the benefits it has on natural hair. One of the benefits is that it helps smooth the cuticles which will prevent knots. I went out and bought some apple cider vinegar and planned to try an ACV rinse my next wash. Wash day came around and of course my hair was super knotted but to my surprise that ACV rinse really worked! From that moment on ACV rinses were included in my washing regimen. I had conquered SSKs, Yay Me!

Good bye heat damage!

Five months later (11mths) I ran into my next problem, my ends were getting on my nerves because of the heat damage they wouldn’t still curled and were always dry. So one day after installing my “really mini twist” I decided to cut off all the hair that would not curl. I had ago started my own personal JBCO challenge in hopes of helping my hair get thicker. Cutting those damaged ends off was the best thing I could have done to my hair since the cut my curls have been popping and my ends feel so much better.

A couple of days after my 1st year journey anniversary  I did a lite blow-out to stretch my hair for my box braids and my hair was so big I couldn’t believe it. I wish I could’ve taken a picture but my camera didn’t have any batteries  at the time. Seeing how long and thick my hair had gotten from simply not using heat and keeping my hair moisturized and clean of course was really exciting and encouraging for me to continue my journey.  I’m so glad I stuck to my regimen even if I wasn’t doing everything right and got a little lazy at time I stuck with it.  With any hair journey there are trials and errors but with patience and knowledge you can get through it. Before this journey I had no interest in natural hair or the thought of doing my own hair but after watching YouTube and seeing how versatile our hair is I became hooked!

I’m planning an even better regimen and can’t wait to see the growth next year!

7mths (flat twist out)

8mths (no heat blow-out)

6 days before my 1 yr anniversary (braid out)

back of braid out