Monday, June 28, 2010

Decisions, Decisions...

i'm thinking of giving up the red hair. WHAT?! yeah. for a few reasons, but the biggest one is tea tree oil.

i recently asked a question on the LovinLocs group about what kinds of shampoos i could use to really clean my hair without using using a clarifying shampoo. actually, i think i was asking about Dr. Bronners shampoo. my sister got a free sample of the almond scented one (y'all know i'm a fiend for almond scents!!!) and i wanted to use it, but i had heard in the past that it was a clarifying shampoo. but people were always referring specifically to the peppermint one, so i had to ask to see it all Dr. Bronner shampoos were clarifying or just the peppermint one. turns out they're all pretty much clarifying shampoos :-(
i'm sure most of you already know this, but clarifying shampoos strip everything out of ur hair, the built p product, the gunk, AND my hard to maintain color. red is one of the hardest colors to have because the molecules in red dye are so big they wash out easily. so i try my darnedest to stay AWAY from any type of clarifying treatment. plus it makes my hair dry and hard. y'all also know what a fiend i am for conditioners and having soft hair, so i only use clarifying shampoos on rare, rare occasions, maybe like once a year or so if that!
but in my quest for answers about the Dr. Bronners shampoo, i learned about a few other things that strip color treated hair faster, including apple vinegar rinses and TEA TREE OIL!!!!!! WAAAAAHHHH! i LOVE tea tree oil! i use it in my homemade spray that i make for my hair. i talked about the tea tree and peppermint conditioning mist that i bought recently that i love so much. i use it all the time!
recently, i've really noticed that every time i shampoo, i loose a lot of color. i see all this deep pink froth going down the drain. at first i thought it was because i didn't rinse well enough when i colored my hair and this was just the excess color coming out. then i really started paying special attention to making sure i rinse until the water runs clear. but then, the next time i shampoo, more color washes out! i was feeling really frustrated until i put 2 and 2 together and realized it must be the copious amounts of tea tree oil i use in my hair!
also there's just the hassle of keeping up with the color. its just hard to do. i have to wash my hair less often than i would like to keep the color vibrant longer. then there's the wet factor. if my hair gets wet, the red will start to bleed. so, for example, one day at work we used the water table because it was so hot out and the kids splashed me and my hair got wet. then the red started bleeding and i had this bright red color start to belled down my WHITE tee shirt. it looked like a majorly bad case of ring around the collar! LOL so all this has led to to think maybe i need a break from the bright red. maybe let this fade out and then go for a reddish brown for a bit.

i'm really sad, guys. i don't know what to do...

Friday, April 16, 2010

Finger Latching

so, i've been latching my hair for about 3 years now... i think. maybe 4. i loose track of time. at first, i ONLY used the nappyloc tool. it was easy and fast and it was hard to mess up. then the horrible (inevitable!) day came when i lost my tool. it was bound to happen! that thing is soooo small! i tried to use a latch hook. wasn't happening. it kept on getting tangled in my hair and all i was doing was making more of a mess and hurting myself in the process. i briefly tried to use a crochet hook. but that wasn't really ever an option. so then i made my own tool using a paperclip and some electrical tape. if you look on YouTube, there are a lot of vids on how to make a homemade latching tool. it was hard getting used to it because with the nappyloc tool, you thread the entire tool through the base of your loc and that was the way i was used to latching. with the homemade tool ,you had to just thread the tip, or the eye, of the tool through the base of the loc, insert the tip of your loc, and pull through. it was a new way of doing things and it took me much longer to get through the tightening sessions. then i cut my hair and i no longer had those natural tapered tips on the ends on my locs. now i had fat, blunt tips that was even harder to thread through the tool. retightening my hair became such a pain in the butt. that was when i started migrating back to palm rolling. then i just said "bump this!" and i ordered another nappyloc tool. in fact, i ordered two! one the medium size, which was the size i originally used, and one was the large size to help deal with the fatter, blunt ends. then, not even a month later, i lost those!!!!!! i'm blaming this one of my kitten. she loves to walk around on my desk and she knocks stuff over and then she starts playing with what fell on the floor! i KNOW she took them! but, when a door closes, a window opens and i found my original too, which was actually right in the correct spot where i usually leave it. go figure! but i've been so busy with life the past few months that the last thing i wanna do when i get home is mess with my hair.

then i saw a vid by PrettyBoiShai on YouTube. she's a lochead who i've been following from her very first vid when she first began locking. she has a lot of really good stuff. anywhoo, in her vid, she showed how she does her loc maintenance by starting out with finger latching and then moving into using her homemade tool for the last few rotations. i thought this was a great idea! i messed around with finger latching in the past, but it never really looked "groomed" enough for me. i liked my parts to be neat and scalp to show. plus, i latched more often and its harder to finger latch when you only have a small amount of new growth. now i'm moving more towards a more... organic look. maybe that's not the right word. i'm just not as concerned about my locs look meticulously groomed and i'm finding that i actually LIKE the filled in look more. so, i thought, since i'm going longer in between retightenings and i have a lot more new growth at my scalp, finger latching may work better for me now. so while at work on my break, or over my friend's house hanging out, i would finger latch my locs. sitting in the car stuck n traffic, i would finger latch. watching a YouTube vid, i would finger latch. its was so easy and fast because i didn't have to fiddle around with a tool. it took about three days but it seemed so much shorter cause i was doing it in the quiet little moments of the day instead of sitting down with my water/oil spray bottle and my tool and setting aside time to "work on my hair". and my hair is done but it doesn't look "done". know what i mean? AND my locs are thicker. i did a YouTube vid about wet latching versus dry latching and one of the things i talked about was how the loc looks different when you wet latch versus dry latch. so, all in all, this was a great experience and i think i'll stick with it for the most part. i'll probably still latch the front hairline with a tool once in a while simply because those locs are smaller and i want them to look the best, but i think i'll be mostly sticking with finger latching from now on.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Pipe Cleaner Curls

it's been a while! i didn't realize it had been three months since i last posted! wow. time flies. well, in the past three months, i got married! yuppers! met my husband five years ago through eHarmony. so for all you online dating skeptics, give it a try! LOL! so, for my wedding, i tried a few different styles. its funny, i kept my hair long for so long because i wanted to be able to do some sort of fancy up-do for my wedding, and when i finally couldn't take it anymore and cut it, then we finally decided to get married! but, back on subject. i wanted curls, but i wasn't quite sure how i was gonna pull it off with short hair. i tried the braid out, but that was too informal looking. so i used the loc loops. first time it was too loose because my hair didn't completely dry. it was more like barely there waves. second time it was nice looking, but it looked better after a week when the curls started falling. then i saw one of chescaleighs YouTube vids about using pipe cleaner curls.

i've been following this girl on YouTube for years! if you haven't seen her, you should definitely check her out. she's the one who i first saw using the loc loops. she has 2 channels and some of her older vids are on the first channel, so you have to check them both out.

I've heard other people mention using pipe cleaners or straws for curls, but it all just seemed too complicated for me. i didn't see how you got the straw or pipe cleaner to stay IN your hair. thanks to the magic of YouTube, i found out exactly how to keep the pipe cleaner in your hair. my next concern was with shedding. in the vid, chescaleigh used black pipe cleaners and she has really dark brown hair. so if any of the pipe cleaner fuzz came off in her hair, it would blend in pretty well. i was using bright red pipe cleaners (brighter than my hair, if you can believe it! LOL) and if any fuzz came off, you would DEFINITELY see it. so, i asked my trusty friends on the Yahoo LovinLocs group (another gem in the locking world! get on it, people!!!!!!) and the people there reassured me that the pipe cleaners don't shed. so, with NO hair trial, the day before my wedding, i wet my hair down in the shower and went to work with the pipe cleaners. don't ask me why i didn't do a hair trial. i just KNEW the pipe cleaners would work. so here's a pic of me with all the pipe cleaners in my hair the night before.

thats me with my sister. she has a Youtube channel as well dedicated to loose natural hair.

for the front two rows, i did one loc per pipe cleaner. for the rest, it was two locs per pipe cleaner. i just wanted the front to look really defined. i looked like a crazy fool, and i ran around town doing my errands with my hair looking like that! well, i tied a scarf over the front, so from the front i just looked like a girl with a big hairstyle under a scarf, but from the back, you could see all the craziness going on under the scarf! LOL i don't have any really good pics of my hair after i took the curlers out, but here are a few of me at the wedding. you can't really see it in the pics, but i got beautiful, springy, spiral curls. the kids at my job (and a few of the adults LOL) enjoyed pulling the curls straight and then watching it bounce back into the coil shape. those curls stayed TIGHT for 2 weeks. then i got tired of them and washed them out.


yeah...i didn't keep the poofy dress on for long! that thing was HOT!!!!! LOL

Monday, January 25, 2010

Newest Products

ya'll know i'm a product junkie. i know i need to deal with this, but lets put that aside for now and let me tell you about the two newest products in my stash. let me start off by saying that one of these products has a bad "cone" in it. a "cone" is the end part of a certain type of chemical that they put in hair products. good "cones" will help moisturize hair while bad "cones" will basically be like petroleum, they will make your hair feel waxy and smooth, but they will in fact be sealing OUT moisture. but the use of a good clarifying shampoo will take care of that. all the stuff about "cone" i learned from my sister who is a natural hair and natural product person. she's very particular about what she uses in her hair.
but i have an relaxed attitude about most hair care products. i use shampoos with laurel sulphates and all that stuff. i use products and i don't always check the back for the ingredient list. the only thing i always stay away from is mineral oil. i just pretty much listen to how my hair responds to certain products. my hair feels soft and healthy. i don't have a problem with dry hair or split ends or shedding and breaking or any of that. so i use what works well for me. i do make my own daily spritz for my hair that is only full of good stuff, though. i do try to use good things in my hair as well, too!! but i don't stress about whats in a lot of products, especially if my hair responds well to it.

anywho, the first product is: Hydrating Tea Tree Mint Leave-In Moisture Mist by Organix.


this is the one with the good "cone". I've used the shampoos and conditioners from this brand in the past. It was okay, but I didn't feel the results were worth the price of the bottle. The tag line on the bottle says: An ultra hydrating blend of Australian tea tree oils to add moisture and strength, while nourishing your hair with replenishing moisturising milk proteins and micro infused peppermint oils for hydration and balance.

I was going to write out all the ingredients, but i got lazy. needless to say, there are 16 ingredients and some of them are dimethicone copolyol (the good "cone"), Australian tea tree oil, soy milk protein, peppermint oil, glycerin, silk amino complex, and vitamin E. the first ingredient is water, the last is fragrance. i love the smell of tea tree oil. this product has a nice blend of tea tree oil and mint smell and the smell lasts on my hair for days. my home-made spritz i use had tea tree oil in it,too, so i tend to use that more just because i know exactly whats in it, but every few days or so, i like to use this as well for that added minty smell.

the second product is Color Extend by Redkin.

the tag line says: Shine Enrich. Protective shine serum for color treated hair. and then is says Cranberry Oil a little father down on the front of the bottle. this is the product with the bad "cone". this product has 19 ingredients, most of which are chemical compounds that i can't pronounce. cranberry oil is 10th on the list. this product is basically suppose to work like Frizz Ease, but it also has a color protectant in it. i don't care about "smooth fly-away, and impart a mirror-like shine" part, but i do feel that my color is staying vibrant a lot longer than it usually does. red is one of the hardest colors to keep vibrant. it fades and washes out so fast! i really feel like this product is helping with that. and it smells really nice, too.

so there you go. these, along with my home-made daily spritz, are the only things i'm using in my hair. the spritz on a mostly daily basis, these two products on a weekly-ish basis.