Wednesday, August 31, 2011

As A College Curly...

I really need to save money in any way I can. Books, tuition, food, and transportation (I commute) all add up very quickly so luxury spending has to be cut out. In hair terms, that basically means I need to start using products that are cheap, but will last me a long time so it's not a regular expense. Up until today I was using Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie in my hair, followed by Eco Styler Gel, either with Olive Oil or Argan Oil. But my CES is running low and I really didn't want to spend $10 to replace it.

So I decided to go back to the Conditioner Only Method. The only reason I really stopped doing this method was boredom. I liked the ease of using just one product in my hair to define and moisturize but something about it seemed too easy. I guess I just wondered what my hair would be like if I started using products that are actually meant to be left in hair and made to define curls and whatnot. The results I got were good, but they have their downfalls, just like the COM does.

When I leave nothing but conditioner in my hair, I get very soft, fragrant, and defined hair. All of that is great, but was pretty much impossible to get multiple days out of my hair because of how soft it is. Without the hold of a gel, any hope of second day hair will be pretty much demolished during the night, lol. So that means I have to do my hair every day. Some people don't think it's good to manipulate hair on a daily basis, but it's never given me any problems. I actually like wetting my hair every day. It serves as a reminder that I have been enlightened to the wonderful benefits of water on hair.

When I use a moisturizer/leave in conditioner plus a gel, my hair has better definition than when I use conditioner alone but it's never as soft. And unless the leave in I use is especially fragrant, my hair doesn't really have a smell to it. Or at least not one strong enough for me to smell it. And even though it's easier not doing my hair every single day, I think my hair becomes drier and drier with each passing day without water.

So I'm going to be sticking with COM while I'm in school. I like the feel of my hair better when I use this method and it's cheaper. Rather than pay $10 for an 8oz jar of CES and $5 for a 32oz tub of Eco Styler, I can pay under $3 for a huge bottle of conditioner and have everything I need for my hair in one product. Sounds like a college budget friendly hair routine to me!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My Six Months Natural Vlog : )

I'd love your thoughts and comments below ladies and gents. :)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Misleading Pantene Ad With Eva Mendes

Hey loves. I'm sure most of you have seen this commercial before. I've seen it a few times and I'm sorry but, every time I see it I'm rubbed the wrong way by the message it sends. The way I take it, it's alright to use extremely (and dangerously) high heat to the point that it damages your hair and gives you split ends, so long as you use something that will repair the damage...

That's an outright lie! It is a common misconception that split ends and damaged hair can be repaired using the right products and with proper care. But the fact of the matter is, hair can't be fixed or repaired or healed by anything because it is a dead protein. Once your hair emerges from your scalp, the fiber is dead. It can only be preserved or destroyed.

Products that claim to heal damage, like shown in the commercial, basically act as a glue. Hair is made of a protein called keratin and these products are filled with other proteins that temporarily bind themselves to the hair shaft to put splits back together. But every time you wash and style your hair, those temporary proteins are removed little by little and the splits are still there, moving farther and farther up the hair strand. The only way to truly rid yourself of heat damage and split ends is to cut off the affected hair. If you leave it there, the problem will only get worse.

I'm no hair scientist but I have done my fair share of research so I know a thing or two. I just wanted to share this info with you guys so you can make more informed decisions about your hair care. Don't let yourself be fooled by advertising campaigns and product companies. Know fact from fiction and make your purchases based on that, not how pretty the model's hair looks.

What do you guys think?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

What Is The Green House Effect For Hair??

Hi guys. I wanted to tell you all about some of the things I do to maximize my hair growth so I'm going to start with the Greenhouse Effect or GHE. Now, what on earth is that, you may ask. Well, basically the GHE is using a plastic bag or shower cap along with a scarf and bonnet, or possibly a hat during the night to create a warm and moist environment on your hair while you sleep. The excess heat and moisture trapped on your hair by the shower cap and other layers help to promote the natural oils in your scalp, known as sebum, to come out in greater abundance than they normally do. Sebum helps to nourish and moisturize hair, helping it to grow long and healthy.

When doing the GHE it's recommended to use a natural oil of some kind to coat your hair strands from root to tip to provide extra moisture and lubrication to the hair than can be produced from layering alone. Jamaican black castor oil, extra virgin olive oil, and extra virgin coconut oil are a few really popular ones. It's all about finding what works best in your hair. Personally, I use castor oil from Walmart and massage it into my scalp before putting on all my layers for the night. I don't choose to coat the length of my hair in oil simply because I don't think I would be able to go multiple days between washing and styling my hair if I did. When I first went natural and began to identify my hair as curly I learned that curly girls should never run their fingers through their hair because it can muss up the curls and separate all the units. So running my hands down the length of my hair with oil seems counter intuitive to me.

Normally hair grows at a rate of about half an inch per month, but with the GHE people have been able to get anywhere from one to one and a half inches of growth every month! I think those results speak for themselves. The GHE works better the more often you do it, so I try to do this at least every other night. I recommend you guys try it out for a month or two and see how your hair likes it. Maybe you can speed up your rate of growth! The Greenhouse Effect is part of a larger regimen, which was started by Meeka Jael on YouTube. She has a new channel called RealQueensRegimen where you can get all the info on the GHE and the overall regimen. The Real Queens Regimen also has a group on Hairlista for women who follow the regimen or do the GHE to help each other out with tips and experiences. If you decide to add the GHE to your current routine or to completely switch over to the Real Queens Regimen let me know in the comments.

Later, loves. :-*

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I Need To Start Taking Vitamins

Hey guys. I was thinking about what I do for my hair and my hair goals and all that and I realized that there's something missing in my hair routine. I used to take a women's multivitamin every single day but I fell out of the habit. Vitamins are essential to overall health, which includes the health of your hair. And since I want waist length hair, vitamins need to become apart of my routine once again. What are your thoughts?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Detangling Tools! :)

"Brothas" and "Sistas": We Are Not Related

You guys know I browse a bunch of natural hair blogs and websites on a pretty much daily basis. Doing so has allowed me to learn how to properly care for my hair and start my hair journey. There's lots of information out there that I never would have become privy to, had it not been for these various sites. However, the online natural hair community has exposed me to much more than natural hair care.

A lot of times, people will refer to one another as "brother" or "sister" on these sites and it's always felt a little weird to me. I've never liked being referred to as "sista" and I'm definitely not about to call a black male "brotha." But I wanted to know your thoughts on the topic. I don't take offense to the terms, but it just seems a little played to me. And since I'm not related to any of the people referring to me as "sista" it gets under my skin.

Why are you referring to me that way? Because we're both Black? Because I'm natural? I'm sorry but, the fact that we share a race and the state of my hair is not going to make me automatically feel a connection or a sense of kinship to you. I would rather just be called by my name.

If/when you guys experience this, how does it sit with you? Do you respond in kind, or say nothing about it at all? Do you think I'm over reacting or looking too deeply into this? Sound off in the comments below dolls!

Long Hair Academy Update

Hey loves. So, I was supposed to be a part of the Long Hair Academy growth challenge going on on Hairlista, like I posted here. However, after just one week, I've been expelled from the academy, lol. I forgot to respond to the discussion of the week, so I'm no longer an official member of the challenge. But I still think the rues and guidelines set up for the challenge are really great and can lead to healthier, longer hair when done consistently. So I just wanted to encourage you guys to try and incorporate the Long Hair Academy rules into your hair routines and see how it works for you. Let me know what your experiences are.

New video will up soon. Later, loves. :-*

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Product Review for Kinky-Curly Curling Custard

Please leave your thoughts down below and don't forget to follow the blog! :)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Can You Make Your Own Flat Iron Pouch??

Hey loves. I'm sorry I've been MIA for the past few days. Things have been seriously crazy. I'll get into that in a different post. But I was thinking about my YouTube channel QtBoutique, and I think a sewing tutorial is long over due. I've got a few hair videos I want to get out of the way first, but I really want to experiment with making my own flat iron pouch tutorial. Make sure to check here regularly, because I'll probably post the pattern here before I post the actual tutorial.

I've been working on some other things for the channel, which I'll hopefully be able to show you guys later tonight or early tomorrow. I hope you like it! Stay tuned! :-*

Monday, August 15, 2011

Long Hair Academy 2011 Growth Challenge

Hey guys. So, I've told you all about and my membership there. One of the things that makes it such a good site is the groups feature, which allows members to join groups based on having similar hair care interests and goals. I'm part of a group focused on a growth challenge and I thought I would share it with you all. Late registration ends today, August 15th, so if you'd like to join in, head over to the site and register. Here's the group's description directly from the site.

Long Hair AcademyAugust 1 - October 22,2011(12 weeks)Valedictorian of this semester will receive $50+ in hair care products of their choice.This semesters rules:1) Water,water,water! Healthy hair starts within so aim for at least 64 oz.of water daily.2) Choose a growth aide to be applied at least three times a week. 3)Cutting/trimming/dusting/coloring/relaxingMust be done prior to semester beginning. Only one pass to do this once semester begins and it will replace heat pass for that month.4) Choose a protective style that still allows access to your scalp. Braids/twists/wigs/sew ins.5) Take your vitamins everyday!6) You may wash as necessary with shampoo of your choosing,but you MUST DEEP CONDITION WITH HEAT at least once a week.7) Only one direct heat pass is allowed per month. But if you can avoid heat the whole semester all the better :)8) Discussions/Progress*Weekly discussions will be posted each Sunday. To remain active and avoid expulsion must be replied to by end of Saturday when it will be closed.*Progress Pics To be up for valedoctorian prize must post start pics/midsemester/end of semester.This semester is all about healthy hair care and growth, only serious applicants need apply. Happy Hair Growing everyone!

So this is what my hair focus will be on in the coming weeks. I hope some of you decide to join me. If you do, leave a comment letting me know your name on Hairlista and I'll add you as a friend! Later, loves. :-*

Sunday, August 14, 2011

BOV Number 2

This is late, but it's finally up. Here's the vlog promised in the last post. Enjoy and leave your comments below. :)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Hair Experiment/Product Combo of the Day

For the past week or so, I've only been using the Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie plus Eco Styler gel to do my Wash n Gos. This has given me really nice results, but I wanted to see what, if anything, else could work well with the gel without giving me that gross product reaction.

So today I decided to try out a product that I previously hated. For whatever reason, the Curls Creme Brulee did not work well with the Curls Goddess Curls Gel AT ALL!! I hated those two products together. And the fact that they come from the same line/brand kind of added to my dislike for them. I felt like the Brulee did nothing to really define my curls and the gel felt like all it did was lock in the frizziness that I always got with those two products.

But surprisingly, the CCB plus ESG worked really nicely for my hair. I basically had to use the CCB as nothing more than a moisturizer and stop looking to see if it would give me any definition on its own. That's just not happening. But so far, I'm really pleased with how my hair turned out, and it smells freaking fantabulous!!! I'll update with either a BOV or pictures of the day later. :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Blog-Only Vlog Numero Uno!!!

I've mentioned this idea a few times before and decided to try it out. I'll be adding video content exclusive to the blog, completely separate from my YouTube channel. I'll be uploading the BOVs to YouTube and making them "Unlisted" so only those with the link can view them. Then they'll be posted here on the blog. Let me know what you guys think. :)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Naturally Curly Hair Growth Prediction/Theory

It should come as no surprise that I examine my hair very often. It's still something new to me so I try to learn as much about it as I possibly can. So, every now and then when I'm bored, I'll sit in front of my mirror with an index card and put it behind my hair to examine it piece by piece. I also study photos of curly hair that I come across in every day life.

These examinations have caused me to come up with a theory about my hair, that can be applied to curly hair in general, concerning the way curl units grow. In the very front/top of my hair, there is almost no curl definition. The hair there is just wavy with no real units forming until you get to the very end of the strands. After about the first four to five inches, the hair no longer waves and starts to curl all in the same pattern, and become a defined, visible curl.

I've seen this on all kinds of curly hair, not just highly textured African-American natural hair. So, that lead me to the conclusion that some hair has to reach a certain age before it begins to grow in the same pattern as the hairs around it and form a defined unit.

Hair grows from the scalp at about half an inch per month, so the ends of our hair are the oldest parts and hair closest to the scalp is the youngest. If I have 5.5" of hair, and the first 5" has grown in random waves and the last half inch all comes together in the same curl pattern, that tells me my hair has to be at least eleven months old for it to grow in the same pattern as the hair around it and become a true unit. So, the first 5" of my hair might always be randomly wavy, but if my theory is correct, all hair after that will be in actual curl units.

What do you guys think? Let me know in the comments. Later, loves. :-*

Pictures of the Day

I decided to experiment with my hair again. :) This time I used my Tresemme Naturals conditioner as a leave in, applied raw unrefined shea butter on top of that, and finished off with Olive Oil Eco Styler gel. These pictures are what my hair looked like just after I finished styling it. I'll try to update throughout the day. Enjoy!! ^__^

Sunday, August 7, 2011

I'm On Hairlista!

Hey loves. First update of the day (I hope, lol). Just wanted to let you know that I have joined the oh-so-popular website, My user name is Aaliyah Lanae, and I'd love some more friends, so if you're on the site, add me!

If you're not aware, Hairlista is kind of like a social networking site dedicated to helping women of color grow and properly care for their hair. There is so much good FREE info on the site it's ridiculous! There are also lots of forums, groups to join, blogs, photo sharing and a bunch of other stuff. It's a really nice site and I think it's worth it for everyone with a hair goal in mind to join. Hairlista can help you get there.

I'll be updating this blog with info on the challenges and groups I'm apart of so even if you're not a member, you can at least know what I'm doing. It's all part of my hair journey. :) Don't forget to hit the follow button on the lower half of the sidebar to the right! You'll be updated much quicker. Later, loves. :-*

Saturday, August 6, 2011

What In The World Are Ponyos??

Hey loves. Yesterday I went to Walgreen's looking for a travel sized spray bottle that I could fill with water and throw in my purse to refresh my hair whenever it feels a little dry during the day. Needless to say, they didn't have any mini spray bottles. :(

So I decided to just browse through the hair care items and see if anything caught my eye that I might have been forgetting I needed. I ended up getting a few headbands and a travel size bottle of some Brown Sugar & Vanilla body spray (which I kind of hate the smell of, lol) to use up and keep the bottle for my travel refresher.

But one other thing did catch my eye and since it was only $1 for a pack of ten, I couldn't really resist. They're called Ponyos, and they look like miniature key chains, but they're meant to be like ponytail holders/scrunchies for your hair.

I'll admit, at first I was a little hesitant to buy them because I wasn't sure how well they would work in my hair. It's no secret that my hair isn't currently long enough to put all of it into a ponytail, but I thought I could make use of these little things for sectioning my hair when detangling and putting in product. I've actually heard of these little key chain things being used as scrunchies by girls in the Philippines  from a college friend who has family there.

So I figured, why not get them? At least they're really cute! ^__^ So I used four of them this morning when detangling my hair in the shower and doing my Wash n Go. I was actually pleasantly surprised! These little things didn't get tangled in my hair at all and they didn't pull A.N.Y. excess hair out. Two of the "ponyos" came away with one hair each, but I check and they were both shed hairs. I'm really liking these little things so far. And seeing my hair in a couple of buns on the top of my hair helped me to envision my future puff. Lol.

I tried to do a Google search on them, but I couldn't find any results with these little things. But if you have a Walgreen's near you, I say go see if they have any, because they're really nice and you get 10 for $1. If you do end up trying them out, let me know. Later, loves. :-*

Side Note

I have 50 subscribers on YouTube!!! Yay!!! I know 50 isn't a big number, but I'm really proud of it, so I'm gonna celebrate. *proceeds to do happy dance* Thank you guys for the support so far. ^_^

"If You Touch My Hair You're Racist!"

Links to the article and blog post referenced can be found on YouTube in the description. Share your thoughts. :)

Friday, August 5, 2011

DHB: I'm on Third Day Hair With Eco Styler

All I had to do to refresh my hair today was pull it out from the smushed state it gets into when I wear my satin bonnet, let the steam from my shower loosen my hair up a bit, spritz the front, and apply a little more gel and I got these results.

I like the Curl Enhancing Smoothie, but I think I want to experiment with leaving regular conditioner in my hair some more. I need to find the right combo and amount to use to pair it up with the Eco Styler. Knowing that the only reason I wasn't getting multiple day hair was because my products didn't have enough hold makes me really want to figure out which/how much conditioner(s) work with the Eco Styler.

With results like this, how could I not add it into my regimen? I'm also going to experiment with different gels, like the Fantasia IC gel, which I actually really like. :) Anyway, I'll make sure to keep you guys updated. :)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Argan Oil Eco Styler Gel First Impression

Let me know what you think in the comments. :) Later loves. :-*

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

New Gel!!

After having such great hair with the Olive Oil Eco Styler Gel, I decided to try the one with Moroccan Argan Oil. I've heard really nice things about it on YouTube so I said, "Hey, why not? If I end up not liking it all, at least it's only four bucks and some change."

But then I went to Sally Beauty Supply, and what did I find?? A SALE!! The Eco Styler (all kinds) was on sale for $2.99 for the entire month of August. That was a nice little boost to my day, seriously. I'm already a pretty frugal gal, and seeing this super cheap gel go on sale for something even cheaper was amazing. So, if you've been wanting to try the Eco Styler, I say now's the time to go ahead and do it.

I'll be posting up a video on my YouTube channel, telling you guys my initial thoughts and how I feel about it, probably tomorrow, so stay tuned!! Later, loves. :-*

Pictures of the Day (08/02/2011)

This post was supposed to go up yesterday but I got sidetracked and completely forgot. I was at work a couple days ago and decided to snap some quick pics. Enjoy. ^__^

5 months, 5 days natural. :)