This is a no-go

Well, I gave it almost a week, but after much thought, I’ve decided to keep my blog at Blogger. I love the clean look and numerous templates WordPress has to offer, but it’s missing two key components I just can’t live without:

  1. Google Friend Connect-my Blogger blog has this and I really, truly enjoy this feature.
  2. Bloglist v. Blogroll-Blogger has a blog list that let’s me see a snapshot and date of my fave blogger’s posts versus WordPress’s boring list of blog links.

If you’ve decided to follow me here, turn back and follow me here:

http://napfrocurlzgirl.blogspot.com/

Have you ever wondered?

Early last year, I decided to stop straightening my hair with ye ol’ fashioned hot comb and just maintain my hair in its natural state. Initially, I didn’t know what I was doing until I discovered the electronic world of natural hair! For days on end, I’d pour over blogs and YouTube videos dedicated to natural hair. A lot of things I tried and a lot of things didn’t work. But a year and a few months later, I’ve learned what works for me and what doesn’t.

Now, I’ve been natural all my life but learning how to manage your hair in its natural state is truly a learning process involving lots of experimentation. When I first started out, my straightened hair hit my shoulders with my curly ‘fro coming down to the bottom of my ears. Now, a little over a year later, my straightened hair is at my bra strap line and my curly ‘fro rests on my shoulders.

As of late, I’ve been wondering why my hair never grew like this under the careful and costly bi-monthly tutelage of the hairdressers in my life. I had an old school hairdresser who’d use that nasty Dax wax when she finished fryin’ my head and I had another one who whipped my strands straight via the famed Dominican Blowout before it earned its moniker. Yet, my hair never thrived in their hands. Why?

I recall after moving back to my hometown after being gone for more than 10 years, I fumbled through the Yellow Pages in search of someone, anyone who could straighten my hair, but when I asked them what products and techniques they used, I promptly hung up the phone and moved on to the next one in the listing. I was elated, however, to finally find one natural hair stylist and eagerly booked what I thought was the first of many appointments to come. Sadly, that didn’t work out. When she wanted to detangle my dry hair sans product after placing my undetangled head under a hooded hair dryer, I vowed never to return (sadly she does a beautiful angle balance cut).

Now that I’m on my own, I have no regrets. The health of my hair is in my hands. Yes I might spend numerous hours on my hair when it’s time to wash it, yes there’s the infrequent frantic search for an organic ingredient I forgot to replenish, yes I get bored wearing it in a protective style most months out of the year, but it’s all worth it. My nose no longer burns when it’s assaulted by the salon’s perm chemicals and burning hair, I don’t fret to find something to cover my hair when it rains, and I don’t have to worry about how I’m going to wear it everyday. Taking my hair into my own hands has given me a sense of freedom I will never give up.

Hallelujah and Amen!

Armed with an arsenal of never-tried-before products recommended by one of my fave bloggers, Moptopmaven, and a brand new hair dryer that promises to do everything but kiss the ground I walk on and a new flat iron, I was ready…I was excited…to straighten my hair!
First, however, I deep conditioned under the steamer with Huetiful’s Hair Masque with Moringa Oil.
I’ve never seen a product, other than what comes out of my own kitchen, with moringa oil so I was super excited when I got this in the mail after submitting an Amazon review of my steamer. This masque is okay and has an overwhelming peppermint smell, but it doesn’t perform well enough for me to try again. Coincidentally, I had to use almost the entire jar for just one application so sadly, this product is not going to be a repeat.
After deep conditioning, and washing and conditioning my hair, I set about Moptopmaven’s hair straightening regimen. Prior to blow drying, she recommends using Fermodyl 619, Sebastian Potion 9, Frederick Fekkai Glossing Cream and Aveda Brilliant Damage Control.
I’m not sure if my hair was supposed to feel any different with this product, but it purports to help hair retain  nearly 70 percent moisture. I didn’t feel a difference, so I don’t know if I’ll ever need to use this again.
This runny, orange goopy stuff smells funny and felt a little sticky. As a leave-in, I will give this another try since it’s so light. Otherwise, I probably would never use it again. It just wasn’t what I thought it was going to be.
What more can I say, but AMAZZZIIINNNGGG! The smell of this olive oil-based cream is intoxicating and truly does smooth and silken the hair. I will definitely keep a tube of this on hand.
I really enjoyed this herbal floral-scented spray which serves as a heat and UV protectant. I think this will be sticking around for a while.

Now, down to the nitty gritty-blow drying time!!! The next step in the regimen is to apply Chi Silk Infusion.

I loved this too! It smells amazing and left my hair feeling rather sleek!
Confident I was on my way to creating silky, smooth straight locks I plugged in my new hair dryer, the Infiniti Hair Designer Pro by Conair, and got down to business. Thank God I got this at a bargain price because this hair dryer left my hair in such a mess I had to pull out my old hair dryer and round brush to finish the job!
The blow dryer from hell! This thing is supposed to detangle, straighten and dry the hair in one fell swoop. Yes it dried my hair, but I ended up with more single-strand knots on the bottom two inches of my hair than I’ve ever had in my life! This blow dryer also has four separate tension settings and coarse-haired girls are supposed to use tension four, but all it did was rip my hair. I backed it down to tension one. The ripping stopped, but detangle it did not! DO NOT BUY THIS!
My final step was flat ironing, but that didn’t go well as the blow dryer didn’t work out too well. I used a cheapie I grabbed around town to flat iron and I believe it’d work for my hair, but only with the proper blow drying technique. Needless to say, about halfway through blow drying, I had to pull out my old one and my round brush to finish the job.

Now, Moptopmaven’s hair is super shiny and appears to have movement from using all of the hair products previously mentioned, but I had not a lick of shine. I have my own remedies for that, but to make my straight strands last as long as possible, I finished off with Aveda’s Brilliant Anti-Humectant Pomade.
OMG, I love this little jar of herbal oil pomade! It smells amazing and  so light, you can’t feel it on your hair! It seemed to do the trick overnight, but perhaps I should apply some everyday as my hair got a tad poofy today. I will definitely keep this in my arsenal and will probably use this to maintain twists that are kept in for more than a week.
Overall, I’m pleased with my results, but it took me just shy of five hours to complete this process from beginning to end. The only element I think I was missing was a straightening cream, so next spring, I will give this a go and try again. For now, though, I’ve applied so much heat to my hair and fought so many single-strand knots, I’m going to keep my hair in twists until spring to repair the damage I know I’ve done. Plus, my significant other and I prefer my wild bushy curls to my straight look. I also look closer to my age with straight hair, too. LOL.



Another hair trend?

I don’t know about you, but lately I’ve been seeing adverts for “thermal straightening” and “thermal retexturizing.” Seriously? Are we that gullible and naive, or so desperate for straight hair that we’ll buy whatever’s thrust in our faces without thinking twice about it?

A closer look at some of these, er, breakthrough hair systems or treatments make it sound so simple and easy that it could be done at home! Just pick up some of these special shampoos and conditioners, wash your hair, blow dry and flat iron and no more waves, kinks and curls…ever!
But, this is where “buyer beware” reigns supreme. Underneath the promise of straight, shiny glossy hair lies a culprit…lye. Yes, these thermal treatments contain some derivative of lye which when activated by heat, and lots of it, purport to get your hair sleek and straight.
Even I am guilty of falling into this trap, especially when I saw Garnier’s Blow Dry Perfector kit at the local drugstore. I’m terrible at blow drying, so I thought I might try this. But, when I looked at the ingredients, I saw that this product contains a little bit of lye. Imagine if I’d bought this and put it in my hair???!!!
While you might not be able to get your hands on product bottles, reading the ingredients of these treatments is crucial. Telltale verbiage such as “permanent,” “neutralizing,” “retouch,” etc. are a few suggestions letting you know that this is a chemical process. If you’re contemplating getting a treatment, do a Google search to see what the ingredients are. With the prevalence of so much information on the Internet, ignorance no longer is bliss! For example, I found a PDF document from one nationally-acclaimed salon’s smoothing treatment advising against using its treatment on people with porosity issues. Hmmm, porosity issues…now that’s something that seems to plague us brown-skinned folks…lye, porosity… Get it?
Yes your heart might pitter patter over some of the new smoothing treatments that have been busting onto the scene, but don’t even go there. It’s just the 21st century way of saying you’re getting a perm. Consider yourself warned. Peace!

Way too excited today…

OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG!!!!!!

My Infiniti Conair Hair Designer Pro (the hair dryer the straightens as it dries) came today AND I’m going to be hennaing my eyebrows tonight…thanks for the heads up Kinky Curly!!!!! 
I have one perfect eyebrow, but the other one is missing some hair and its end is about a quarter-inch shorter than it should be. I don’t understand this as I’ve never plucked them or used pencils/powders on them.
Needless to say, I have to fill it in every single day and I’m sooooo tired of doing that every morning! Plus, I feel my eyebrows aren’t dark enough anyway. So, I will be hennaing my eyebrows and if all goes well, I will never have to fill in again!!!! Wish me luck!

Drum roll please…..

Okay, so I’m sitting under my steamer right now, totally psyched about a new hair mask I found at my fave local Indian grocer…I swear I’m not a product junkie, but I am in love with hair masks.

If the name and packaging look familiar, it’s because a lot of us love Vatika oil! Well, this is Dabur’s Vatika Egg Protein Deep Conditioning Hair Mask with egg protein, honey, marrow protein and more! It  comes in a huge jar for just $6.99. It has the most amazing floral smell and kind of looks like thick, goopy lemon custard.
As usual, I didn’t read the directions, but you’re supposed to use it as post-wash treatment.While applying it to my hair, sections I’d already applied it to wear dripping and oozing with oil. While under the steamer, my hair literally feels like silk.I can’t wait to see how it turns out! I might even skip the shampoo (I only use my homemade shampoo which is chocked full of oils) and just…gasp…co-wash! But, I might not even do that as the directions suggest rinsing it out of your hair with water. Considering how dry my hair was this week and the lack of product in my hair, that might just suffice, just this once at least! This definitely gets two coils up and will be added as a staple!
In other notes, I’m also super excited to get back to mixing…if I ever find the time. I scored a pound of cupuacu butter this week at a really great price so I’m eager to make some hair butter with that very, very soon!
My hair dryer, mentioned in the prior post, still has not arrived so stay tuned for a full review!
Also, check this out and please participate if you can…
Do you have any GENTLY USED or NEW  natural hair products that’s just sitting on the shelves collecting dust?  You don’t want to throw it away but it just doesn’t work for you and you don’t really know what to do with it?  Well, due to a genius idea presented by one of our very own, HAT has decided to start a drive in support of our naturalista’s deployed overseas who are unable to get their hands on products. Any natural hair products that you can think of that will be of benefit to someone else will be gladly accepted. NEW OR USED!!!
Starting next week, Hairs a Thought (HAT) on Facebook  will provide a PO BOX for all gently used or new natural hair products to be mailed to so in the meantime get your stash together. HAT will generate a list of naturalista’s deployed overseas and will disperse the products donated to those individuals who want to participate in the program as a way to show our support for those who are fighting for our country with fabulous curls, kinks and waves. Want to be a part of the movement? THEN DONATE!! All donations are welcomed. So get your donations together for the drive and let’s make this a successful one fam!!!
There’s a reason why the HAT fam is notorious for helping others…..because we know how to come together for the common good and provide assistance and advice like no other! So lets show ‘em how we do it! DONATE! DONATE! DONATE!
Help me spread the word by posting this note on your wall, your friends wall, groups and other pages and lets make this an AWESOME drive!!!
HAT SUPPORTS OUR TROOPS!!! Do you????
SPONSORS:
  • Shea Butter Like Whoa
  • Jamaican Lime and Mango

Quicky!

Realizing a little time has lapsed, but not having a lot of spare time, I just wanted to provide a quick update.

I recently tried Dr. Miracle’s Follicle Healer Creme in a sample pack…gotta’ love those $1 sample packs! I can’t say nay or yay to this. My scalp wasn’t tingling, but it did leave my hair unusually soft. During application, it felt like a watered down version of KT’s Knot Today. I also have samples of their other products coming in the mail soon, so stay tuned.
And, for those of you who know me, I only straighten my hair twice a year. Once in spring and once in fall. I’m really looking forward to it, but not the process…until now!
I was goofing off on eBay when I found this monster, the Conair Infiniti Hair Designer Pro! While watching the 30 minute countdown, I hopped on the Conair, Amazon and YouTube web sites to check out reviews, watch demonstrations and learn the logistics. This retails for $69.99, but I literally got it for a tenth of the cost!!!! So, a review is coming in the fall and if all works well, I will be throwing away by brushes and old hair dryers.
I also am doubly excited about scoring a pound of cupuacu butter to play with and this web site, http://naturalhairproductdeals.com/. Joining Natural Hair Product Deals will enable you to receive email alerts of sales from some of our fave natural hair product makers/suppliers. Sign up today!