Tuesday, December 24, 2013

How to Trim Your Curly Hair

I recently gave my 3 year old daughter her first trim. Naturally I didn't use a blow dryer on her delicate baby hair, so this is how I did it.

1. Freshly Washed I began with freshly washed hair. Her hair was already in twists before I washed it so I kept the twists in for the entire washing process. This made the detangling process much easier and less time-consuming. I used SheaMoisture's Moisture Retention Shampoo (diluted with water in an applicator bottle). I conditioned with Tresemme Naturals moisturizing conditioner.

After washing and conditioning
2. Moisturized, Sealed & Twisted After rinsing out the conditioner, I took one twist at a time and did the following: applied Alikay Naturals Knots Be Gone as a leave-in conditioner and finger detangled; smoothed Alikay Naturals Shea Yogurt Hair Moisturizer over the hair; topped with SheaMoisture's Finishing Elixir. After applying the products I re-twisted each twist.

3. The Trim After moisturizing, sealing and re-twisting each twist, I stretched out the twist and, taking my trimming shears, snipped a little off the ends (around a quarter of an inch in most places).

Her twists coiled nicely at the ends after her trim
And voilĂ ! That was it. Easy, right? Yup! 

What about trimming your hair evenly? No worries. When you wear your hair curly most of the time, you don't have to worry about your hair being even because curly hair is beautiful like that; it easily conceals any slight unevenness. 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

How to Know When It's Time for a Trim

Split ends. We know they're bad. But how do we know when it's time for a trim? Read on to find out when it's time to reach for the trimming shears.
Split ends have many forms. But no matter how they look, they've gotta go!
When split ends are allowed to linger they can rub up against neighboring strands and cause tangling and knotting, which can lead to more splitting. And the split end itself can destroy the rest of the strand if it isn't addressed. That is why it's important to get trims. But I'm not an advocate of trimming hair every 6 weeks, which is the time frame that is recommended by many professional hair stylists, and here's why. 

Everyone's hair is different because 1) we're all uniquely made so no two heads are alike, and 2) we all have our own maintenance and styling preferences. All of these factors need to be taken into consideration when it comes to establishing a trimming routine.
After blow drying my hair last month, before
flat ironing and trimming. Notice how fuzzy
my ends looked. It was definitely time for a trim!
What should you do if you find a split end? A split end here or there is not the end of the world. If I have time I'll grab my trimming shears (never use regular scissors) and snip it off. But really, who has time to sit around and stare at their ends? I'm sure you don't, and neither do I. So how do you know when it's time for a trim? Here's a good rule of thumb:

     You need a trim when your hair no longer holds styles well.        

When you twist your hair you'll notice that the ends won't wrap around each other neatly. When you wear your hair straight, the ends will look and feel rough, your hair won't move fluidly, and it will feel stiff. When you flat iron your hair, the ends will need more than one pass - a definite sign that they're due for a date with your shears. 
What about those products that claim to "repair split ends"? The sad truth is, once a hair is split, there's no way to repair it. Products that make those claims may make your hair feel softer and smoother by temporarily coating the split ends. But the only way to "fix" a split end is by cutting it off

Check back soon for my next post: How to Trim Your Curly Hair

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Product Review: Alikay Naturals Knots Be Gone Detangler

Super excited about the products Alikay Natural sent me to review!! Find out what I think about their Knots Be Gone Detangler:

Note: I was not compensated for this review.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

I Can't Escape Him

This whole thing is His.

I got tired of running. I got tired of acting like I was in control of my life. Now I know without a doubt that there is a calling on this life that I call "mine."

When there is a calling on your life I believe that God will stop at nothing until you surrender to Him. "Surrender" sounds like such a bad word. But really, it's the beginning of the most beautiful, intimate love relationship that you'll ever have: a relationship with your Heavenly Father.

I was recently asked about my faith in Jesus Christ. With so much conflicting information out there about the validity, authenticity and authority of Christianity, Jesus, and the Bible, how can I still have faith that Jesus is the Son of God? Why do I believe? At the time I couldn't articulate my answer because I hadn't given it much thought before then. But now that I've had time to reflect, I know why. I am not going to attempt to defend the Bible; I am not versed in apologetics. All I can say is what I know, and what I know is this:

I can't escape Him.

When I reflect on my life, there have been countless times when I could have gone off the rails, but a Force greater than myself prevented me from self-destructing. "Yeah, well how do you know that isn't just God? Why Jesus?" Because I am so imperfect, so flawed, so unworthy...a holy God would not be able to have a relationship with me because my innately sinful nature blocks me from Him. But Jesus...now, He walks with me...He cleanses me...He purifies me before the Father, because He's been here before! Even when I am weak - especially then - He carries me. He is the bread of life. He sustains me. I am nothing without Him.

You hem me in behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. ~Psalms 139:5

I can't escape Him.

Even when I was going through that rebellious teenage phase, there was always something (now I know it was Someone) who would not let me go too far. "Yeah but that's just your conscience, right?" What one person calls conscience or coincidence, I call Jesus. Because you see, all those times when I almost stepped off the cliff but Something wouldn't let me...all those times when the thing that I'd been praying about was answered by a stranger's "random" comment, or by a sign in the street, or by a few words in a book that I only picked up because "something" inside me urged me to...all those times when my heart cried out, "God, where are you?" and then a friend, family member, or even a complete stranger would reach out to me in love and say the exact words that my heart needed so it could heal, so it could rest....None of that happened by accident but because my Lord and Savior is after my heart and wants a love relationship with me so badly that even though He doesn't have to, He'll do anything to prove His love for me...even die on a cross.

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners... ~Isaiah 61:1

I can't escape Him.

Even when my circumstances make me want to believe that God has abandoned me, that He doesn't really love me or care about me...it doesn't matter what I do or where I go, Jesus still patiently pursues me. I could turn on a song in an effort to drown out my pain, and I'll feel His heart for me within the intricate melodies and harmonies of the music. I could go for a run to clear my head, and through the aching I'll feel His unending mercy fall fresh upon me, so that instead of wishing that the physical pain would go away, I welcome it because I know He'll sustain me through it. I could weep tears of bitterness and frustration and feel crushed beneath the weight of hopelessness, and He'll come down beside me in that valley and stay there with me until I trust Him enough to take His hand, rise and keep following Him.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. ~Proverbs 3:5-6

In a nutshell, it's when I stopped trying to run from Jesus that my life finally began to make sense. When I stopped trying to make my own path and turned to follow Him, that's when everything fell into place. Now, I'm not saying that suddenly my life became easy and I didn't face any struggles. Au contraire. But since I decided to follow Jesus, I have discovered a peace that He reserves for those who believe and trust in Him. The less I rely on my own reasoning and thought process, the more room I give Him to move in my life, and the more freedom I experience. When I stop trying to fight my battles of loneliness, sadness, frustration, anger, fear, and hurt, and let Him into my heart so He can fight those battles for me, then I can experience the healing and peace that only Jesus can offer.

There is no life, no fulfillment to be found in living for oneself. It is only in the continuous process of letting go, in the constant relinquishing of living life my way and choosing to live His way that I can find and experience true freedom and live life as He intended.

If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it. ~Luke 18:33

As I sat down to write this, I didn't know why I was doing it. I didn't even know what I was going to say. I just opened up the laptop and began typing. As I typed things were revealed to me and I was given revelation (a clearer understanding from the Holy Spirit) of scriptures that I'd read many times before but never understood until now.

I can't escape Him.

You can enter God's Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it. ~Matthew 7:13-14

If while reading this you've felt a gentle but persistent tugging at your heart, then that's Jesus waiting at the door and He wants to come in. He wants to give you life. Let Him.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Length Check & Trim

It's that time of year again! Time to whip out the blow dryer and flat iron for my six-month length check and trim. But something strange happened this time...

I wasn't excited.

Weird, right? Usually I can hardly wait. I'll plan for it ahead of time and check the weather forecast for rain. But some reason last Friday I found myself impulsively blowing out and flat ironing my hair out of obligation rather than joyful anticipation. It could have something to do with the fact that I'd returned that wonderful-but-oh-so-expensive Sedu Revolution flat iron that I'd purchased and used for my May blow out, so I had to resort to using my old flat iron, which is in terrible condition. But honestly, I think it's because I've grown to prefer how I look with my kinks and curls. 
It's important to deep condition before
applying heat to your hair!

However, I was glad to have my hair straight so I could get it trimmed. It was in desperate need of one. My hair had surpassed waist length, but my ends were knotty, frizzy and looked just plain awful. It looked like my ends had been stuck into an electrical outlet! So serious. It was driving me crazy.

My Mom wasn't available to trim it for me and I had to run errands that afternoon. So guess who stepped up to the plate? My awesome Hubby!!! That's right, ladies! I gave him directions, handed him the sheers and he proceeded to do an AH-MAHZING job!! In fact I went to see my Mom two days later so she could clean it up for me and make sure he'd got it all, and she said he'd done a great job! Love my Hubby :) He's the best!

Since my last blow out in May, I'd set a goal of growing out my layers so that the majority of my hair would be waist length, not just my fastest-growing areas, resulting in a fuller look. Well, my plan is working! The picture on the left was of my first blow out in 2011, the year I did my grow out challenge. As you can see, my longest point was about bra strap length, which is where the crown of my hair is now, as pictured on the right. 
What a difference two years makes!
Length of my crown (@BSL) is as long as my longest point two years ago!
Left: November 2011
Right: December 2013
Product Update

Alikay Naturals, founded by popular YouTuber BlackOnyx77 (Rochelle Campbell), sent me a couple of their products to review (my official review will be up on my YouTube Channel soon - stay tuned!), so I decided to put their Knots Be Gone Hair Detangler to the test. The directions say it can be left in, so I used it as my leave-in conditioner. Let me tell you, when I say my hair was SOFT...that is an UNDERSTATEMENT!!! I'm talkin' BUTTERY soft...like I-can't-keep-my-hands-out-of-my-HAIR, soft!! Yeah...more on that later! 
I applied Knots Be Gone to each section and detangled first with my fingers then with a wide-toothed comb. Then I set my hair in chunky twists until I was ready to blow dry. See the soft sheen of my twists?
I attribute the sheen to the aloe vera juice in the Knots Be Gone. AVJ is close to the pH of our hair, so it closes the cuticles. And what happens when your cuticles are laying flat (or "sealed")? Your hair looks shiny! :)
Next I took down each twist and applied a dime-size amount of heat protectant to each section before blow drying. This heat protectant is super heavy, so less is definitely more. I twisted each section after I'd blown it dry. I've never seen my hair blown out and twisted, and I've gotta say, I was really feelin' it!

See how rough my ends were? Yeah..... :/

All done flat ironing! Can you tell I wasn't thrilled? LOL!
I was much happier after my dear Hubby gave me my initial trim:
If there's one thing I've learned about this straightening process, it's that I need to do it more often. When I was doing my grow out challenge two years ago, I was mostly wearing my hair in two-strand twists. This kept my ends protected and well moisturized, so getting trims every six months (with search-and-destroy trims in between) was enough. But now that I wear my hair out all the time instead of in protective styles, my ends are constantly vulnerable and exposed to the elements and they rub up against my clothes, chairs, sofas, jackets, etc. daily. Since I have neither the time nor the patience to do search-and-destroy trims right now, I need to straighten and trim my hair more often. I'm going to start with every three months and see how my hair does with that. That is why it's called a "natural hair journey" - I'm always learning and I love it!

How often do you blow out and trim your hair?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...