Sunday, July 31, 2011

DHB: I Finally Got Second Day Hair!!

I always thought second day hair was just something I couldn't get because my hair was too short. But then when I used this method, my hair was actually ok enough in the morning that all it took was a couple spritzes from my water bottle and some fluffing for my hair to look good!! That is so exciting to me because that means I don't have to manipulate my hair on a daily basis unless I want to anymore.

I think using conditioner and a much lighter gel were preventing me from stretching my wash n go's. There just wasn't enough hold to keep my hair from becoming completely smooshed in the night with all my wild sleeping. But the Eco Styler gel has a really good hold and that's what made my hair last. I'll be experimenting with different leave ins in combination with this gel and I'll probably experiment with different Eco Styler's as well.

Wish me luck! :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I Think I've Decided To Shampoo

Even though I've been faithfully following the curly girl method by avoiding silicones, not using shampoo with any kind of SLS, and using conditioner to cleanse and style my hair, I think my hair needs a little lather in it's life. Lol.

I like co-washing and using just conditioner, but yesterday, I was examining my hair and I noticed some curls were looking a little limp on the ends. I've been meaning to do a good deep treatment for a few weeks now, but I never got around to actually doing it.

But now I'm thinking the DT might not be as effective as it normally would be if I don't really cleanse my hair and get all of the buildup out. Despite what some people might have you believe, anything can and will build up on your hair if it's not being properly and regularly removed. I poured out my last bottle of shampoo a few weeks ago and have been exclusively co-washing since. But I think I should be able to find some shampoo around the house since I'm the only one who doesn't use it. With three other females in the house, there should be something I can use.

I'm just going to dilute about a nickel size amount into a cup of water and see how that feels. I don't want to strip my hair, but I want it to feel really clean so my DT doesn't have to fight through layers and layers of other products just to do what it's supposed to. Wish me luck, and I'll give an update later. :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I Just Remembered Why I Don't Like Wide Tooth Combs

.....For detangling. More specifically, I don't like them for removing shed hairs. I just finished doing my hair in the shower (I know it's 8 at night, but I had things to do. :)) and my denman brush wasn't in the shower where it was supposed to be so I just used my wide tooth to do my detangling.

And I instantly remembered why I stopped using it to detangle in the first place. For one thing, I don't think wide tooth combs are adequately equipped to remove smaller sized tangles. There's just too much space between the teeth. But whatever. If I go through my hair with the comb enough times, I think I can get it detangled enough that there won't be any problems.

But removing shed hairs is a totally different matter. After I finished detangling with the comb, I ran my hands over my head one last time for good measure, and came away with lots of shed strands that the comb just didn't remove. So I ran my hands over my head again. Lo and behold, more hair. I pretty much had to detangle my hair all over again, this time using just my fingers, to remove all the shed hair. Now, to some this may not seem like a big deal because I could always remove them the next time I do my hair; which, since I do my hair every day, would be tomorrow. But I don't like the idea of just leaving shed hairs on my head to sit and get caught on growing hairs and possibly cause extra tangles and knots that I wouldn't have had to deal with had the loose hairs not been there.

I was just really annoyed by this. I'll be using my denamn tomorrow, like I usually do. What do you all think? Is daily detangling too much or is my frustration well founded? Let me know in the comments.

My "Nappy" Epiphany

Ok, so if you've watched my YouTube videos, you should know how I feel about the word "nappy." I don't like it. At all. I just think it's really derogatory and offensive. Who wants to hear their hair described as "a bunch of napps?" I certainly don't.

Plus, as a hair type, it doesn't make logical sense to me. Straight, wavy, curly, and kinky are all accepted hair textures, and they all describe the visual appearance of the hair they are assigned to. I think most people can see that logic. Straight hair is straight, curly hair has curls, wavy hair has waves and kinky hair has kinks, also known as very tight curls/coils.

But can someone please point out a napp to me? Could someone verbally describe the physical characteristics of one for me? I just don't know what that would be like... If you are either drawing a blank, or can only think of descriptive terms that would also be applied to curly or kinky hair, we're on the same page. That's why I don't think "nappy" should be considered a hair type. Besides the fact that it's negative, it also doesn't make any logical sense to use the term as a hair type when more appropriate, non offensive ones already exist that can do the job just as well.

However, I recently realized, the term nappy does have a place in the black hair community. Not as a hair type, but as a state of being. I realized that I only get mad at use of the word when someone uses it to say what texture of hair someone has. But I think nappy can be used to say when someone's hair is tangled and knotted. So, with this description in mind, lets say a napp = a tangled, knotted, or matted curl and nappy = hair that is full of napps.

Let's face it, nappy is a word and it's not going to go away any time soon. But language evolves with culture. And I believe our culture has evolved enough to know the difference between a hair texture and hair's state of being. To me, nappy is a state of being for hair. That's all.

Share your thoughts in the comments. Later, loves. :-*

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Daily Hair Blog: "All That Hair"

Going natural is full of new experiences. Some, I predicted, while others I could never have seen coming. When I did my big chop, I was nervous but excited at the same time. I thought I knew what my hair texture was but, I found out the hard way, the hair you see when you transition is not necessarily the hair you get when you BC. I had to tell myself that I liked my hair, and that I was still sexy without a relaxer until I actually believed it.

Comments and stares from people around me did nothing to help the new look grow on me, but it was what I had to deal with and I knew there was no way I could turn back. Even if I had been so uncomfortable with my hair that I wanted to go back to the creamy crack, I would have had to wait for my hair to grow in some more, because it was waaayyy to short for me to be comfortable with in either state.

But after a couple days my reflection didn't look so foreign and after a few weeks, I started to genuinely like what I was seeing. My hair was fuller and thicker than I could ever remember it being in my life, and I was learning sooo much! Confidence and pride started to sprout inside me, and it felt really good. Who cared what other people thought? Even though I received more compliments than insults, none of it really mattered to me, because I was happy with myself... At least, that's what I liked to believe.

I was at work on Friday and the high temperature for the day was 105 degrees! I really don't need to tell you how that felt, and what the main topic of discussion in the office was. But someone said something to me while we were discussing the heat outside that really got to me. It wasn't a compliment or an insult, just a descriptive phrase about my hair. One of my coworkers said, "Girl, I can't believe you're out in this heat with all that hair on your head like that." He didn't mean it in an offensive way at all, and I didn't take it as such.

I was just struck by the use of the phrase "all that hair" being applied to me.... Me?? Aaliyah?? My hair had never been described in such a way in my entire life. I've never had long hair. I've never had thick hair. As a matter of fact, my hair has always been on the thin side. But to someone just looking at my short little curly 'fro, I had a lot of hair! And it felt so good to hear that! In that moment, I think I was the happiest I've ever been since my big chop that I decided to go natural. Someone thought I have a lot of hair! That was something I thought I could only experience once my hair reached my shoulders or beyond. Never before. But I did!!

All I can really say is, I Love My Hair!! <3

Here Are The Rest of the Myths & Objections

Enjoy and let me know what you think. :) ;)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Finally, My Review of the Curly Girl Handbook!

Daily Hair Blog: New WnG Method

Hey guys. I've been doing my hair in a different way for the past few days. I normally cowash my hair in the shower and then spray my hair thoroughly with a water and conditioner (Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition) mix, seal with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and then rake my fingers through my hair to evenly distribute the products. That usually left me with soft hair, and lots of thin little curls all over my head. I say thin because there never seemed to be that many strands of hair per curl, but I always just thought that was how my curl units liked to clump.
But one issue I always had was the crown/top of my head. The hair there doesn't have any curl to it (yet), it's just wavy and it loses all the water from my shower almost instantly. Since I like my hair to be almost soaking wet when I style it, to seal in all the moisture I possibly can, that was a serious problem. After my hair was done it would always look good at the sides and the back/bottom of my hair, but the top was normally just wavy with no real clumping going on, so it always looked frizzy. I had to find some way to counter that issue.

So, the very first thing I changed about how I do my hair was doing it with a spray mixture. I waited until my bottle of water/condish mix was completely out and started doing my hair in the shower. First, instead of Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition (which I still absolutely love!) I used Tresemme Natural's Nourishing Moisture conditioner to cowash my hair, and then reapplied it to use as my detangler/leave in. Then I detangled with my fingers until I didn't feel any major knots and then followed with my denman brush to remove all the shed hairs that my fingers missed and applied Extra Virgin Olive Oil after scrunching out the excess conditioner to seal in the moisture. The whole time I would be raking my fingers through my hair to help (or so I thought) with definition.

My hair turned out nice and soft, and very moisturized, which is my main concern. But the top was still looking a bit frizzier than I'm happy with, so I decided to try something else. I bought LA Looks Sports Gel to try as a finisher because it was very cheap, it's CG friendly, and I've heard really positive reviews on it. So, I did everything the same way I had been doing it, minus two things: After I detangle with my denamn, I don't rake my fingers through my hair. I just smooth on the EVOO and gel. Then, once I'm done, I shake my head from side to side and back and forth to get rid of any excess product still sitting on my hair, and to separate the curls. I decided to try shaking instead of raking because I wanted to see if it could give me better definition in my crown area, thinking that if I shake, all the curl/wave units will just break up into all the little sections they naturally want to. Whereas if I rake, I'm mechanically breaking them up into little units that they may not have chosen on their own.

Well, let me just tell you guys, MY HAIR HAS NEVER LOOKED BETTER than when I use this method!! I have more definition than I ever really thought I could because my curls are nice and plump, with lots of hairs in each unit. And the addition of the gel gives my hair the hold it needs to stay in each little curl without every being crunchy or hard. I was so impressed! Obviously, once my hair get's longer I will probably have to find a different method to separate the curls, because I don't want to make a mess shaking my hair out. But for now, my hair is #winning! Lol

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Title Says It All...

Randomosity and Goofiness!!

So, What's Up With the Name Change?

I probably should have done this post when I first changed the blog over but I put it off because I didn't know exactly how I wanted to word it. But its something that I really feel needs to be addressed, so here goes.

So, in my video introducing myself and telling you guys about my channel, I said that my real name is Shaniqua, but I also go by Aaliyah, short for Aaliyah Lavonne. Lavonne is my middle name, bit I have decided to change it to Aaliyah Lanae.

Here's the reason behind that: my middle name was given to me by mother in honor of her sister, whose middle name is Lavonne. My aunt and I recently had a falling out in which she physically attacked me during a family cookout. I hesitated to post this on the blog because I didn't want to seem like I'm trying to air any dirty laundry, but its the truth. My aunt and I no longer speak and I really have no desire to patch things up with her. As someone who is 14 years my senior, I never would have expected her to take things to a physical level and actually try to hurt me.

So, because of that I have decided to legally change my name so it no longer has any ties to her. Some of you may not agree with this decision, reasoning that she's family and we should be able to work past this. Respectfully, I disagree. I'm really glazing over the details of this particular incident, but there's much more to the story. My decision has been made and all I ask is that you all respect it.

So I hope that clears things up for you guys. If you have any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to post them.

Later, loves. :-*

Changing Directions

So, I've been thinking a lot about my blog and my YouTube channel lately. specifically about the content that has been posted so far. I'm proud of the videos and posts I produced, but I feel like they're not really serving the purpose I had intended for them.

When I started my channel it was with the intention to keep a thorough record of everything that goes on with my hair and its growth until it reaches my waist. As someone who has never had long hair in her life, that's a really big goal! I know I won't be able to reach it over night, but I'm ready to put the time in.

And that's what I want to document. So I'm going to be doing mostly Daily Hair Blogs and Vlogs from now on. If something is being added to my online document on a daily or near daily basis, I'll have the record I'm looking for. I really want to prove to myself that all I needed was the knowledge I have now, and I would have had healthy, long hair when I was younger. And maybe my hair wouldn't have been such a source of... disappointment and shame. But I love the hair that I have now and wouldn't change it for the world!

From now on you can think of my blog as kind of my own personal hair journal with lots of pictures and the occasional non-hair related post that I update regularly to share with you guys.  I'd love to share my hair journey with anyone out there, whether they are relaxed, natural, newly natural, transitioning, or anything in between. It's all about sharing and learning from each other.

So I hope you like what you see on the blog so far and I hope you guys won't be shy in the comments!! I really want us to learn from one another because I'm not trying to come off as any kind of expert. Even though I've learned a lot in my natural hair journey, I have a long way to go to my goal, so I know there's lots more to learn.

Happy hair growing!
Later, loves. :-*

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Satin Pillowcases

Hey, loves. I just got my very own satin pillowcase and I couldn't wait to tell you guys what I think about it. You guys will see the actual pillow in an upcoming mini haul video, but I didn't think talking about it really warranted its own vid or a significant portion of another vid.

So, in case you haven't heard, here's the low down on satin pillowcases: Regular cotton pillowcases are very bad for your hair, (chemically altered or natural) because cotton actually leeches moisture from your hair strands and increase friction, causing more tangles. That's why it's not good to wrap you're hair up in those cotton paisley bandannas that you see all over the place. Rather than protect your hair, they actually make it dryer. For hair that's naturally dry, that's really detrimental.

Satin, on the other hand, helps your hair to retain moisture and is slippery enough that the strands don't have to deal with the extra friction caused by cotton, so tangles are minimized. If you don't have a satin pillowcase, you can just use a simple satin bonnet or scarf to protect your hair during the night. But personally, I like to lounge in my bed during the day when I have free time, and I don't just go grab my bonnet or scarf to cover my head until I get up. That's just doing to much. So I decided to get a satin pillowcase so I can lay in my bed whenever I want and not have to worry about my hair being dried out and tangled.

So far, I really like it. I've heard they can be uncomfortable to sleep on when it's hot but I haven't had a problem with that. What do you guys think? Should every woman sleep on a satin pillowcase, just use bonnets and scarves, or is it really not that serious? Leave your comments down below. I'll respond to every one!! :) Later, loves. :-*

Friday, July 15, 2011

It's Been Over Two Weeks!!

Oh Em Gee you guys! I am so unbelievably sorry! The last time I updated was to say that I've been neglecting my blog and that was over two weeks ago. I'm horrible. But anyway, the YT Channel is doing really well. :) Check it out if you haven't already and look at the newest vids. I have a total of 15 videos posted now, so I'm super excited!! Hopefully another one will be posted later on this evening, along with another blog post. I have to tell you guys how I've been doing my hair lately! I've changed my routine a little bit, but I think it's for the better!

Anywho, here's the latest video I posted on my channel, the second installment of which should be posted later. Enjoy!! :)