Thursday, December 31, 2015

Best of 2015: Hits & Misses

Happy New Year's Eve everyone! Before I ring in the new year with the hubby, I thought I would share some of the hits and misses of my hair journey this year.


Some of the hairstyles I wore in 2015

Hit: Incorporating the LOC method + Oils in my regimen

Up until a couple of months ago, I was still trying to get a handle on moisture retention for my hair. My hair is naturally dry and it seemed like no matter what I did, I couldn't figure out how to fix the problem. Then after doing some research I decided to try the LOC method again but this time I incorporated some oils as well (thanks to a tip from HealthyHairJourney72). The results have been amazing! My hair is no longer dry and looks healthy.




Hit: Using Social Media to find out about new hair products and tools

If you follow the blog, you know I've been experimenting with products this year. In the past I heard about products through word-of-mouth recommendations, which led to some successes and failures. But, this year social media helped me discovery the majority of the products and accessories in my current regimen. When I first started using Instagram last year, I had no idea it would be my #1 way to find out about products for my hair.

Just a sample of products I found on Instagram



Hit: Finding my staple products and building a regimen

When I first started my natural hair journey I was overwhelmed with all of the products and information out there. I thought I would never find the right products for my hair. But with some time, patience and a lot of trial & error, I finally have a regimen that works for me. Finding the right products and tools for my hair has made the last few months easier and more enjoyable



Mielle Organics and Tangles and Beyond Products have helped me achieve healthy hair. I look forward to seeing my hair health continue in the new year.


Hit: Incorporating hair vitamins into my regimen

If you asked me a year ago if I would take hair vitamins, my answer would have been a firm "no". After reading reviews and watching countless YouTube videos about bad reactions from some of the big hair vitamin companies out there I was scared. I went so far as to buy hair vitamins but then I changed my mind.

Then in August, I came across Mielle Organics (on Instagram) and researched their vitamins. The reviews were great and I didn't have a problem with the ingredients. So, I took a chance and bought the vitamins. It has been a little more than three months since I started taking the vitamins and it has been great.


Hit: Getting my first successful trim on my natural hair

Some of you may remember the disaster trim I got back in 2014 . So you can understand why I was afraid of finding a new stylist in a brand new city. It took several months but I found a hair stylist that I trusted. It ended up being a great experience and I visit her once in awhile when I want a break from doing my hair.





Miss: Perm Rod Set

After watching some YouTube videos, I felt like I was ready to do a perm rod set on my hair. Well, I was wrong. Lol. I swear I followed all the steps I saw on a YouTube tutorial but my hair did not look the same way. I'm not sure if it was the products I used or my technique but I won't be trying it again anytime soon. Hahaha.

 


Miss: Not becoming a product junkie

I promised myself over and over again that I would never become a product junkie. Unfortunately somewhere between experimenting with products and building a regimen, I became a product junkie. But, knowing that I have a problem is half the battle. I also set a plan that included donating some of my unused hair products to charity and only buying the essentials. Now that I have products that work on my hair, I don't plan on introducing new products for awhile.


What were some of your hair hits and misses from 2015? Please comment below and don't forget to join the link-up!


The Best of 2015


 I hope you all have a fun and safe New Year's Eve! Here's to fabulous 2016!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Favorite hair products from 2015

2015 was the year of experimenting with various natural hair products to find ones that worked best for my hair. Here is a short list of my favorite hair products from this year:

1. Jia's Caribbean DreamCreme- I gave you all the details about my love for this product in my recent review , so I will spare you my review again. But, I will say this, going into 2016 this will remain one of my staple products. If you want a leave-conditioner that leaves your hair soft and manageable, look no further. Jia is soft on your tresses and is made of natural ingredients.



2. Mielle Organics Mint Almond Oil-  Ok, so by now you know that I am in love with Mielle Organics. And if you didn't know, just take a look at the rest of the products on this list. Anyway, besides being a lightweight oil perfect for the LOC method, it smells amazing! I love that this oil leaves me hair moisturized without making it feel greasy. 
                                                      
                                                 



4.    Honey Dew Berry Detangling Co-Wash by Mielle Organics- Another gentle, natural hair product from Mielle Organics. At first I was a little skeptical because it is lighter than what I have used in the past but, it more than does the job. My scalp and strands feel clean and refreshed after each use. Plus, it really brings out all of my curls and coils. 



5.  Twist & Define Cream by Kera Care - I picked this product up at the suggestion of my hair stylist here in Portland. Before this product, I often wondered why my twists out were not as defined and bouncy like some of my natural hair idols. But this cream solved that problem for me. Every single time I use it my twists are on point. And of course the smell makes it a winner in my book. This has also become one of my staple products and one I plan on using in 2016,





6.  Babassu Oil Mint Deep Conditioner by Mielle Organics - I know, I know yet another product from Mielle Organics. But what can I say? There products are amazing!! Seriously, you need to go get your life and try them out! Lol. This conditioner leaves your scalp and hair moisturized. My hair does okay with protein but if you have issues with it, you might want to consider that before including it in your regimen.



7. Essential oils + Aloe Vera Juice - After watching HealthyHairJourney72's video about her spritz spray, I decided it was time to include essential oils and aloe vera juice in my regimen. While I didn't use all of the oils featured in her spray, my hair has still reaped the benefits. Before using the oils on a daily basis my hair was dull and dry. Now that I do the LOC method consistently and I use oils on a regular basis, my hair is happier and healthier.



     
While there are so many awesome products out there, I narrowed my list down to 7 products that have become essential to my natural hair care routine.

What are you favorite hair products from 2015? Please share your favorites in the comments below!


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

My favorite natural hair accessories & styling tools from 2015

This past year has been an incredible learning experience. I have learned so much about my hair and the have found some great products. Here are a few of my favorite natural hair accessories and styling tools from 2015. 



Back in the fall Christina from The Mane Objective raved about Eternally In Amber's combs and I was instantly intrigued. She loved the combs so much that she did a giveaway for readers. Luckily I was one of the two winners and got to test the combs out for myself. 

Wide tooth comb, hair pick and detangling comb.
.
I received my giveaway products: the wide tooth comb and hair pick and a note from Amber, the owner. It only took one use for me to become a believer. A couple of weeks later I purchased the detangling comb as well. 


Unlike most combs sold in stores, Eternally In Amber's combs are crafted by hand and made from plant-derived cellulose acetate. The combs are gentle on the hair so you don't have to worry about snags or breakage.  These combs have become an essential part of my regimen and I won't go back to using non-Eternally In Amber combs again. In December, Eternally in Amber announced the Eternally in Amber Box which drops in January. I'm all signed up and ready for my first box :)!





Adding heat to the deep conditioning session opens the cuticle and allows the deep conditioner to penetrate the hair shaft. Before I stumbled on the review of this cap by Jen (Just Grow Already), I had a cap that plugged into the wall. Yes, it did the job but it made me stationary, which I hated. It took me about a year to finally breakdown and buy my own. 

And let me tell you, it has been well worth it. Not only is this microwavable cap easy to use but it is environmentally friendly as well. The cap is filled with all natural flax seed which helps generate heat once microwaved. Once heated the cap can produce heat for a 25-45 minute treatment, which allows me to be productive while I deep condition. Oh and my cap is reversible so I can switch between  pink and zebra print, depending on my mood.



Ok, these beanies have seriously changed my life this fall. In my line of work, I spend a lot of time outside in the cold for 12-14 hours a day and I need to keep myself warm. But, I also want to protect my hair at the same time. Most hats on the market are lined with materials that leave our natural hair dry and cause breakage. I thought I was doomed to have dry hair all fall and winter until I found Caheez on Instagram (I swear it is a gold mine for finding natural hair products and accessories). These hats are personally handmade by Carla and her staff for each customer. Carla offers 4 different sizes for her beanies: 8'', 10'', 12" and 14" in diameter. 


Newsboy Cap --my first cap and my favorite

The Pinwheel Pom Pom
    


 

                                                                   (Seed Stitch)

These hats are my go-to hair accessories for the week. They are comfortable and fit over the hairstyles that I usually wear during the week. I can be fashionable and keep my hair moisturized at the same time. 

Satin lined inside of my Newsboy cap


Which hair accessories and styling tools made your must-have list in 2015? Please comment with your picks in the comments below!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Mielle Organics Advanced Healthy Hair Vitamins: 3 Month Check-In

With the new year fast approaching, I wanted to do a quick check-in about the Mielle Vitamins. It's been three months since I started taking the pills and I'm on my 3rd bottle. As I stated in my last check-in, I love these vitamins and my experience has been great so far. Here are my impressions so far regarding my skin and hair since I started the vitamins.


                                         



Skin: One of my biggest concerns when I first decided to take vitamins was my skin. When I started researching vitamins, I came across a large percentage of women that complained about breakouts once they started taking certain vitamins (not Mielle's vitamins). I promised myself if I had a reaction while taking the first bottle, I would stop immediately. I have acne prone skin and I have been able to keep it under control since the end of the summer. Hair growth or not, I am not willingly to sacrifice my skin to get results. I am happy to report, however, that I haven't experienced any negative side effects. Since taking the vitamins I have noticed that my face looks clearer and healthier than ever.

Hair Health & Growth:  Although hair growth was one of my motivators for trying the vitamins, I also want to have healthy hair. In addition to using the right hair products and focusing on healthy hair practices, I know that hair growth also depends on what you put in your body. Exercise, vitamins and eating healthy all play important roles in hair health and growth.

With that being said, I do believe that I have experienced some results because of the vitamins. While my hair has always been thick, I have noticed that my hair has gotten thicker and stronger since I began taking the pills. My hair is also less dry and dull. As far as growth, I am seeing a difference in length but I will let you be the judge. Below are some length check photos.









I didn't do a good job with this pic. But the back is well past my collarbone
    I know my length check pics aren't the best but it's something. My hair has grown in the past three months and I have been able to retain length.  I plan on doing a full review and possible another length check at the end of April.


Have you taken any hair vitamins? If so, how was your experience? Please comment below.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Wash Day | Last Wash Day of 2015 + Semi Mini Twists

Hey loves!

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas (if you celebrate) and that you spent a wonderful time with family and friends. Can you believe 2015 is almost over??!! I swear the older I get the faster time goes by. I plan on reflecting on my favorite natural hair products/accessories and hairstyles in the next few days, so stay tuned for that.

Anyway, earlier this week Jenell (aka BlakIzBeautiful, founder of Kinky Curly Coily Me!) posted a Mini Twist Tutorial | Talk Through after getting requests on Instagram on her latest protective style (from people like myself).


         

After watching her video, I was inspired to rock some Mini Twists myself. I remember mentioning my desire to wear this as protective style earlier in the year but I never followed through. But I figured what the heck! I'm on holiday hiatus and have one more week before going back to work. If I didn't like my results, I had time to resort to my normal Two Strand Twist.

                           Here is how yesterday's wash day went down:


Pre-Poo/ Hot Oil Treatment: After I got 2-3 big spoonfuls of EVCO and several drops of EVOO. 
 I microwaved the mixture for 30 seconds and put on my Hot Heads Thermal Cap for an hour.

Shampooed with Carol's Daughter Monoi Sulfate-Free Shampoo because I ran out of my detangling co-wash. I ordered it last week so I hope to get it by this weekend. This shampoo is very gentle and didn't leave my hair feeling stripped. I got this free sample from Ulta Beauty awhile back and this is only my second time using it. I don't shampoo often but I would consider making this my shampoo go-to product.



Deep Conditioned with Babassu Oil and Mint Deep Conditioner + Deep Moisture Conditioner (I'm trying to use it up to alleviate my stash) under my Hot Head cap for 30 minutes. Sadly, I used up my jar of Babassu Oil and Mint Deep Conditioner. But, luckily, I have more thanks to My Black Friday Buys.

Detangled my hair in sections with my Eternally in Amber comb in the shower. 


All the hair I lost from my pre-poo and detangling session

ACV Rinse- I finally got a new bottle to do more rinses. I love how my scalp feels after the rinse.

T-shirt dried my hair for about 10-15 minutes. 

Leave-ins + Oils and Styling My hair- Did the LOC method on each section of hair ( I parted my hair in six sections to style my hair) using Mint Almond Oil, my spritz mix (Aloe Vera Juice, Water and I added White Peony Ultra Moisturizing Leave-in Conditioner), Jia's Caribbean DreamCream and Kera Care Twist and Define Cream. 

Initially I wanted to do mini twists like BlakIzBeautiful but my twists ended up looking like Semi Mini Twists instead, which I loved. All in all, it took me about 4-4 1/2 hours to finish my twists.



View of the back




                  I decided to pull my mini twists in a ponytail to go to the gym

     


I plan on wearing my twists for two weeks by keeping it moisturized and co-washing in between.



How was your #WashDayExperience? Don't forget to join the link-up!


                                                  The Wash Day Experience

Friday, December 25, 2015

Product Review | Jia's Caribbean DreamCreme

Price: $15.00 for a 16oz bottle

Where I bought it: www.tanglesandbeyond.com

Why I bought it: Like all of my recent hair product purchases, I stumbled across this company on Instagram. People were raving about the hair products and I wanted to try some of the hair products.

Product Description: A lightweight but powerful detangler infused with pure Hibiscus powder and Argan Oil. This cream will make your detangling dreams come true. Use in sections before or after shampooing to make detangling a breeze. No need to rinse it as it will keep you conditioned all day.

Directions: As stated in the product description this leave-in can be used before or after you co-wash or shampoo.

Ingredients: Purified Water, BTMS (Colza  Oil Conditioner), Cetearyl Alcohol , Tangles and Beyond Shea Butter Blend, Hibiscus Powder, Argan Oil and a blend of essential and fragrances. 

How I use it: Until recently I used this simply as my leave-in conditioner after finishing my wash day. Now I used it as the Cream portion of my LOC method on my wash day and during the week as needed.


What I love about it: Everything! But in all seriousness, this stuff works! It leaves my hair soft and manageable. If I have any tangles left at the end of my wash day, this conditioner makes them easy to deal with. 
 The scent is so delicious that it makes you wish this product was edible! Oh and the scent lingers with you until the next wash day. For me the scent is not overpowering at all but a refreshing treat that my hubby enjoys. But if fragrances cause you migraines, you may want to use caution. Ashlee (the owner and creator of these amazing products) used to sale a sample size of her products but I haven't seen it on the past couple of drops.

Now, some of you may balk at the price tag but I believe the product is worth the price. Also, I started using this product in April and I still have quite a bit left. Thankfully, all of the hair products except the new Perfect Edges Honey Gel which only has a 3 month self life.



What I don't like:  I love everything about this product :)!

Final thoughts: After 8 months of using this product, Jia's Caribbean DreamCreme is one my staple products.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  Any reviews or opinions expressed about items in this post are my own personal views. I purchased all items with my own funds and have not received any compensation for writing my opinion. I have no connection to the products or brands mentioned in this post.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

My Black Friday Buys

I know this is super late but I swear I have an excuse. First, I wanted to wait until I received all of my Black Friday purchases before I wrote about them and also, I didn't have time to blog about it until now.

I originally told myself that I wasn't going to buy into Black Friday this year but of course Instagram worked against me. The Mane Objective also posted this great list with all the deals that small businesses were doing on Black Friday. Instead of going crazy, I told myself that I would only buy a few hair products and accessories.

                  And now without further ado, here is my Black Friday Haul!


Mielle Organics

I have been using this product line for the last couple of months, so when their newsletter about Black Friday popped up in my inbox, I knew I had to get something. I really loved that instead of doing one deal, there was a different deal each day (from Thanksgiving until Cyber Monday). It gave customers a different variety of things to get. I hope they decide to do it again next year. I scored two separate deals from Mielle Organics:


1. 20% off the site



I was on my last few vitamins at the time so I decided to purchase the four month supply and I figured I would try the White Peony Leave-In Conditioner too. I scored all of these products for $69.72 (including shipping). I walked away with a $26.09 discount. Not too shabby.


2. Buy one get one free




Now, I had every intention of not buying anything else but then the next day I saw this deal. This deal was specifically for the Babassu Oil & Mint Deep Conditioner. If you haven't tried this deep conditioner yet, you need to get your life! The site automatically gave you the extra deep conditioner when you purchased one. I was nervous that I didn't get the deal because it didn't show the extra one on my receipt but I got two in the mail! So I got two for $14.99.



3. Q-Redew Handheld Hair Steamer



I have been eyeing this for awhile and told myself that I would invest in it at some point. Unfortunately I miss the $20 off deal (dang time zone! Lol). But I managed to get $15 off and paid only $54.95 (before shipping).

I haven't used the steamer yet but I plan on giving you the low-down when I do.

4. Tangles and Beyond

As some of you already know I love small business and try to support them as much as possible. I stumbled on this natural hair and body company on Instagram at the beginning of 2015, and I have been using their products ever since.Because their products are handmade, the owner does drop sales to make sure her customers receive quality natural products. 





I got the Perfect Edges Honey Hair Gel (8oz bottle) for $13, which is the regular price. For anyone who has shopped the drops before, you know that her products sellout in minutes. I'm happy that I was able to score this during her Black Friday Pre-Sale Event and it arrived before Black Friday.


I scored some great products and don't need to buy anything else for a little while.


                    
              What hair products or accessories did you score on Black Friday?


Sunday, December 20, 2015

Wash Day | Business As Usual

I can't believe Christmas is only 5 days away and the new year is just around the corner! I hope everyone is enjoying their time with families and friends this holiday season.

Since my last post the tv show I work for went on hiatus and I have been enjoying my 2 1/2 week break :)! Well, that's partially true. As we wrapped the last episode of 2015 on Wednesday night, I started to feel sick. By the time I got home it was evident that I had food poisoning and I spent the next 24 hours or so thinking I was going to die. Seriously, it was awful. Thank goodness the husband stayed home with me on Thursday because I barely left the bed or couch. Once Friday rolled around I was ready to (slowly) eat foods and wash my hair. Here's how my wash day went down:

Pre-Poo/ Hot Oil Treatment: 2-3 big spoonfuls of EVCO and several drops of EVOO (I don't measure, I just pour until I think I have a good amount).  I heat this mixture up for 30 seconds in the microwave before I apply it very generously to my ends and scalp.  I find using my Roots Only Applicator Bottle makes the process easier. After I massage the mixture in my scalp for a couple of minutes, I put my hair in four ponytails using Goody Ouchless hair ties. Then I put on a plastic cap and my Hot Heads cap for an hour.


This is not the same bottle that comes with the applicator. I think I used the other bottle for something else.

Co-Washed with Co-Washed with Detangling Co-Wash by Mielle Organics in four sections. I finished the bottle so I will have to restock it asap!

Protein Treatment--GPB Balancing Protein Conditioner by Aubrey Organics for two minutes.

Deep Conditioned with Babassu Oil and Mint Deep Conditioner  under my Hot Head cap for 30 minutes.

Detangled- With my deep conditioner still in my hair I jumped in the shower  and  used my Eternally In Amber Detangling Comb. This conditioner and comb make detangling quick and easy!

Hair loss from pre-poo and detangling.





* The hair that I lose on wash day has been fairly consistent over the past couple of months, which is great!

T-shirt dried my hair for about 5 minutes. I had a writers meeting so I only had a few minutes for this step. I'm pretty sure I had water dripping down my back during the meeting. Lol. Good thing it was a virtual meeting.

Leave-ins + Oils and Styling My hair -  As usual I did the LOC method, which has helped my hair retain moisture. My go-to products for this are: Mint Almond Oil, my spritz mix (Aloe Vera Juice, Water and I added White Peony Ultra Moisturizing Leave-in Conditioner), Jia's Caribbean DreamCream and Kera Care Twist and Define Cream. 

Newest addition to my mix

After my meeting I did two strand twists and I will probably wear the twists until Wednesday. As of right now, I plan to wear a twist out for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.


How was your #WashDayExperience? Are you rocking any special hairstyles for the holidays?

Don't forget to join the link-up!


                                        The Wash Day Experience

Monday, December 14, 2015

Wash Day Recap: That Twist Life

I've been meaning to post about my last wash day since Wednesday but as usual, life got in the way. Here is a recap of my last wash day on December, 6th. 

 Pre-Poo/ Hot Oil Treatment:  I mixed EVCO with EVOO and put it in the microwave for 30 seconds. I  applied the mixture to my hair focusing on the ends and then I applied the rest to my scalp.  I gently massaged my scalp for about 2-3 minutes, sectioned my hair into four sections with my Goody Ouchless hair ties and then put on a plastic cap for 30 minutes. 

Co-Washed with Detangling Co-Wash by Mielle Organics in my usual four sections.

Protein Treatment--GPB Balancing Protein Conditioner by Aubrey Organics for two minutes.  I swear this stuff instantly makes my hair feel stronger.

Deep Conditioned with Babassu Oil and Mint Deep Conditioner by Mielle Organics under my Hot Head cap. Then the hubby and I took our dogs on a long walk, which ended up being exactly 30 minutes.

Detangled with my Eternally in Amber Detangling Comb with the deep conditioner still in my hair and then jumped in the shower to rinse it out.

T-shirt dried my hair for about 15 minutes. 

Leave-ins + Oils - With my hair still in four sections, I applied Mint Almond Oil to my scalp and then did my usual LOC Method- Aloe Vera with Water, Mint Almond Oil, Jia's Caribbean DreamCream followed by the Kera Care Twist and Define Cream to twist my hair.  

At this point in my wash day, I realized my pole class was earlier than I thought. So I left the house with the back of my head in twists and the front in two big puffs.  I got home almost two hours later and finished the rest of my twists. 

As usual I wore my hair in twists from Sunday-Thursday and then did a twist out for the weekend. This weekend was extra special because the hubby and I traveled to Monterey, California for his graduation (he got his MA in International Education Management).


So proud of him :)

Since we flew back home last night, I decided to push my wash day to Thursday. So I retwisted my hair using the Kera Care Twist and Define cream. I'll probably keep my hair in twists until I wash my hair on Thursday.

                      How was your #WashDayExperience? Be sure to join the link-up!




The Wash Day Experience

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Wash Day Recap: Last Wash Day of November

Hey loves!

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving with family and friends. It was such a relaxing time and I was so happy that I got to spend five days at home with my hubby and dogs. By the time my break started I was still not in the mood to wash my hair. By Wednesday, I was still rocking my twist out from Friday. And you know what, my twist out still look great even though I did nothing to it except cover it at night and lightly spray it with my spritz bottle. Here are two pics of my hair before Friday's wash day.

                          

The past month or so I feel like I've really hit a stride in my hair regimen and found a way to keep my hair moisturized. So I'm committed to keeping my wash day regimen the same for the next several months. Anyway, here's a recap of my wash day:

Pre-Poo/ Hot Oil Treatment:  I mixed EVCO with EVOO and put it in the microwave for 30 seconds. I  applied the mixture to my hair focusing on the ends and then I applied the rest to my scalp.  I gently massaged my scalp for about 2-3 minutes, sectioned my hair into four sections with my Goody Ouchless hair ties and then put on a plastic cap. I wanted to do my pre-poo treatment over night but in a bout of laziness, I wait until the morning and wore my Hot Heads Conditioning cap for an hour. After an hour I removed the cap and kept the pre-poo in for another hour.  

Co-Washed with Detangling Co-Wash by Mielle Organics in my usual four sections.

Protein Treatment--GPB Balancing Protein Conditioner by Aubrey Organics for two minutes.  I swear this stuff instantly makes my hair feel stronger.

Deep Conditioned with Babassu Oil and Mint Deep Conditioner by Mielle Organics under my Hot Head cap. Then the hubby and I took our dogs on a long walk, which ended up being exactly 30 minutes.

Detangled with my Eternally in Amber Detangling Comb with the deep conditioner still in my hair and then jumped in the shower to rinse it out.


The amount of hair left in my comb after detangling

ACV rinse: I still need to pick a new bottle of ACV. This rinse helps keep product from building up on my scalp and keeps my dandruff at bay.

T-shirt dried my hair for about 15 minutes. 

Leave-ins + Oils  With my hair still in four sections, I applied Mint Almond Oil to my scalp and then did my usual LOC Method- Aloe Vera with Water, Mint Almond Oil, Jia's Caribbean DreamCream followed by the Kera Care Twist and Define Cream to twist my hair.  

Now that I'm well rested and not feeling lazy, I plan on wearing my twists Sunday- Thurs as usual and then wear my twist out on Friday-Saturday.


How was your #WashDayExperience? How did you wear you hair for Thanksgiving?


The Wash Day Experience



Until next time,

~Adventures of a Nappy Chica