Thursday, March 27, 2014

Grandma

On March 27th, we celebrate a beautiful angel. I love and miss my Grandma so much. She was taken from our lives way too early on July 1, 2012. That was a hard day. All of you know how things were when you were kids/teenagers. Now that I'm older and cherish relationships more, I wish I could have a more mature relationship with my Grandma. She was such a great woman.

I look back at all she did for my family as a whole, for my immediate family, for me...and I wish I could thank her more than I did then. I wish I could talk to her and let her know that I understand a little better now how much all she did means. I wanted her to see me graduate from high school, college, grad school. I know she would have been there to support me for each and I know she would have been smiling from ear to ear with me!

The family has changed since she's been gone. Some things for good (growth) some things for bad (we don't get together as much as we used to) but we're all connected in that we love each other and we miss her. We all definitely remember this great woman and we find whatever reason we can to celebrate her. My heart aches for a chance to show her how much I love her and I hope she knows. 
If anything this teaches me to do better with spending time with and reaching out to family. We all know how hard that can be because everybody is so busy these days...but it is important.
I always thought it was a great thing that our birthdays were 6 months apart.
Her birthday is my half birthday and vice versa. I think it's a sign.

Grandma, I love you. I miss you. I thank you.
Happy Birthday!

Check out the Spring Break Cash Giveaway for your chance to win $200!!
There's still time!!


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March curlBox

Carol's Daughter Sacred Tiare Line

Alright guys. I wanted to talk about this March curlBOX (even though I haven't had a chance to use it) because I was super excited about it!

This month the curlBOX included full size products of Carol's Daughter new line Sacred Tiare! How wonderful is that, right?! This new line of products is for "damaged, fragile, frizzy, and unruly hair". This would have been perfect for split ends!! The line includes:
  • Sulfate-Free Shampoo
  • Fortifying Conditioner
  • Leave-in Conditioner
  • Styling Cream
  • (the box also included a sample of Carol's Daughter Hair Milk pudding)
If you keep up with natural hair products then you know Carol's Daughter products can be on the upper end of the cost spectrum. The curlBOX costs only $20. All these products together would have easily been about $55. This one reason why I signed up for curlBox! Spend $20/month to try out products that might or might not work on your hair versus spend $55 to try products that probably won't work for your hair!! LOL...because I've "tried" things in the past and they hardly ever worked out. I ended up having to give away so many products (for free) because they were taking up space!

The VIP list for curlBOX opens every now and then. You guys are in a little luck because the April box is up for grabs this Saturday at 3PM (click here)! I'd totally suggest giving it a try. It's just one box so you're not signing up for the monthly commitment. I notified some of the ladies last weekend when the VIP list opened and one of them actually signed up!! So, if you're interested, let me know!

Other than that, I wanted to point out that I follow curlBOX on IG. Each month ladies take pictures of their curlBOX and the products inside. Then curlBOX will pick a few pictures they like, showcase them, and give that IG account a shoutout. I tried last month, with no luck. I tried this month and they picked my picture (the picture above)!! The thing is...they didn't give me a shout out! They used my picture without giving me credit for it! My feelings were hurt...after all, I am trying to expand my brand! I mean, I still got love for curlBOX, because I'm not a hater...lol...but from now on I'll definitely be stamping any picture I'm trying to get used on other accounts!!

Be careful out there y'all. It's a crazy world! LOL
I have not been paid for this post, neither is this sponsored by curlBOX or Carol's Daughter.
These thoughts are totally my own...unpaid and honest!

AND

Don't forget about the Spring Break CASH Giveaway.
Enter for a chance to $200 in celebration for Spring!!
Go NOW and check it out! :-)


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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

How Did My Salon Visit Go???

Last Saturday couldn't get here fast enough!! Even though I don't like getting up early on Saturday's because they are my days of rest, I peeled myself out of bed to get to my salon appointment on time! I was excited and anxious at the same time! The salon I went to is called Natural Motion Salon, in Northwest DC. This salon was option 3 and choice #1 in this post. I'll start from the beginning because I know you guys are curious, but I'll try not to make this too long!!

I get to the salon and shortly after I arrive I meet Tammy, my cosmetologist. Off the bat, I got a very nice, friendly, jovial, sweet, and kind-hearted feel from her. She definitely made me feel like I'd been coming to her for years.

Before
I had a short conversation with her about how I'd been looking for a salon since I arrived in DC back in August but had heard some really bad things about salons/stylists here that made me very nervous. I told her I found out about the salon through efikzara's IG page and that efikzara had also made a YouTube video about her salon trip which won me over. She isn't into social media so she was blown away that I found her this way. She was telling everybody in the salon about it and about how she was a celebrity now...lol! After our short introductions, I let her know it was about time for trim anyway but my split ends were the main reason I was there. I also told her I'd been having issues with shedding and dry scalp. Last week, I wore my hair in a ponytail because I purposely skipped wash day. I knew I was going to the salon and I had just about it had it with my hair that week. I was seriously like whatever with it! But, as you have it, here is my before picture.

After I shared all this with her she gave me a run down about what she could do for me today and how she could work with me moving forward. For my trip this day, I got a wash, silicon and steam treatment (acting as the deep conditioner), trim, straighten and curl.

For starters, I'd never had a steam treatment before so it was an interesting experience. I don't really have much to say about it; it was exotic, nor could I feel the moisture seeping into my hair follicles or anything magical like that. It was just like sitting under a dryer (minus the heat) with steam coming out. It was hot or wet and I didn't really feel anything as I was sitting there, it was just steam! She put silicon throughout my hair before I sat under the hood and I was under there for about 15 minutes. This treatment is supposed to add moisture and shine to my hair. It's only been four days and I haven't really been able to tell a difference, but I see my hair everyday. I don't think I'm the best judge.

After my hair was all washed and conditioned, she separated it into about 5 plaits and sat me under the dryer to pre-dry. After my hair was almost dry, she blew my hair out with the blow dryer. She first trimmed the ends (before straightening it), then with the flat iron she straightened and curled my hair at the same time. For the most part, she only did one pass per section...so I have no doubt that my hair will revert. After my hair was straightened, she could tell there were more damaged ends on the hair around my neck so she cut another half an inch off at the bottom. Overall, she cut about half an inch...and an inch around my neck. That's about normal for a trim (minus the extra trim she had to do around my neck). Here are the finished results:


Of course there were differences in the way my hair was done this time versus the way I'm used to having it done at home. I must also be honest, I still wish I could go to my salon back home...and I don't think there's anything wrong with that. I have an attachment thing going on...lol. I just want what's best for my hair. I want to see it grow. I feel like my hair has been stuck at this point/length for a while now, so I'm getting anxious about its growth. I'm so ready to move forward (and for my hair to move down my back) but I know that'll all come with time.

The plan for the future is to micro-trim along the way. All the damaged ends aren't gone and she didn't shape my hair with this trim. I'll be going back just about every two weeks so what will happen is, she'll slowly trim away at the damaged ends as we go. Does that mean that I'll have to get a cut every time? I hope not, but if that's what I have to do, then I'm in for the long haul because my goal is length. I can't get length without healthy hair. I'm hoping the trims will be more like every other time, or every three times...LOL...but they have to go!!

Overall I give my salon experience a four out of five. There was another young lady there who I sparked a conversation with who's been going to Tammy for a few years. She had nothing but great things to say about Tammy and the work she does. I know people say try different salons before settling on one but this salon is in a great location; Tammy has great availability; the prices are super reasonable; there's a fun atmosphere; etc. I was comfortable there and until I'm given a reason not to be comfortable anymore, I will remain.

So, can you tell the difference? I'm sure you can see that it's been "trimmed" and maybe you all can see the moisture/shine in it. I don't know, can you? What do you see that's different about my hair, if anything??
Do you like it??

I'm curious to hear your thoughts because I'm so excited to have found someone!! So SHARE your thoughts with me!

Also, the Spring Break Cash Giveaway is still going on. Enter for your chance to win $200!

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring Break Cash Giveaway!

Spring is Finally Here! 
 
We are SO Excited about it, that we are giving away some CASH!!
 

 One (1) lucky winner will win this $200 PayPal Cash Giveaway! You can use your winnings towards a day at the beach or the spa...maybe some retail therapy; whatever you like...
 
Just be sure to Enter to Win! Plus, You Deserve a Break!!
 
Meet the Lovely people who made this giveaway possible...
 
CO-HOSTS
SpringRow1
Natasha @ Lovely You | Mionna @ Just Mi | LaTisha @ Young Finances | Susan @ Love In The Kitchen | Natasha @ Epic Mommy Adventures
 
SpringRow2
 
SpringRow3
Myrna @ Undecided Mamas | Angel @ Sew Crafty Angel | Dee @ Ms Dee Kay
 
CONTRIBUTORS
SpringContributors
 
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Lovely You Blog, Co-Hosts, Contributors and Sponsors are not eligible to enter this giveaway. The Spring Break Cash Giveaway begins March 20th at 12:00 AM EST and ends April 3rd 2014 at 12:00AM EST. The giveaway is open to Residents Worldwide with a verified PayPal account except where prohibited by law. One (1) winner will be selected by Random.org and will be notified by email. The winner has 48 hours to respond before a new winner is selected. No purchase necessary for entering this giveaway. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Bloglovin are in no way associated with this giveaway. By providing your information in this form, you are providing your information to me, cohosts and sponsors in order to verify your entries and name a winner. As the winner, you are responsible for any tax reporting and associated fees via PayPal in obtaining the winnings. It is the Sole responsibility of the winner and not Lovely You Blog, Co-hosts, Contributors or Sponsors.
 
ENTER TO WIN...a Rafflecopter giveaway

 It's International Happy Day folks!! These days and times are tough ones. Take charge of your happy! Smile. Be around people who are excited by your presence. Laugh. Experience life.
Love Hard (there's nothing wrong with that)!!
Invite all your blogger friends to come and participate.
Get HAPPY about this $200!! You never know who will get lucky and win!!
Happy Spring and International Happy Day!!


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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Decisions, Decisions

You all know that I've been in need of a "trim" since here. I've been going to my salon when I visit home, which isn't that often but I was trying to hold on to it as much as I could. The last time I went home, I was unable to see my cosme. In the meantime, I've been trying to find a salon in DC to go to but I've heard nothing but bad things about salons here that other naturalistas have visited. Not being able to find a good salon wouldn't be a problem if my hair weren't in such dire need of attention!!

Good News!!

I've really been doing my part to find a good salon to go to. As of now, I have three options.

OPTION 1: There are a lot of ladies at my job that go to a salon in District Heights, MD. I've seen the different hairstyles of the ladies that that get their hair done there. I've also had in-depth conversations with them about the process the stylist goes through when she's doing their hair to try and get a feel for her methods. I'm not 100% on board with this option because I don't really like the styles I've seen. That's not saying a lot, mind you, because I'm very particular about the kinds of styles I like and what I feel looks good on me. That's not to say, either, that her styles weren't nice...they were...they just weren't my style. However! She sounds like she knows about hair health and I guess that's the bottom line I'm trying to get to...getting my hair back to 100% health!

OPTION 2: One of my curl buddies here recently went to a Hair Cuttery in Laurel, MD to get her curly locks trimmed and her hair looks great! Another naturalista had suggested I give the Hair Cuttery a try but I was very hesitant about it. When I think Hair Cuttery, natural hair definitely doesn't pop into my mind. I'm a "seeing is believing" type of person, so seeing my friend's hair after she got it done helped get me excited about this as an option. Her hair was reminiscent of what my hair looks like after my cosmetologist straightens it. She was referred by one of her natural friends, so I'm assuming the stylist pretty much knows what she's doing. My thing is, I want to make sure her hair reverts! I don't have that kind of time since I wanted to make a decision this week.

OPTION 3: I follow many hair platforms of IG. This past weekend luvyourmane asked naturalistas to name one natural hair stylist/salon from the city you live in. Gratefully there was a post by efikzara about a salon in DC!! I was able to talk to her and ask her questions about the salon as well as see the results she had here on her YouTube Channel. Her results were similar to results I've had as well. She went to that salon and got exactly what I need (shampoo, deep conditioner, and trim) so to see her results and hear her opinion of the service and style was very helpful.

These are the three options I chose from. The cosmetologist I'm coming from is very good with my hair and she helped my hair stay healthy until I left to come to DC. She grew up doing hair and has her cosmetology degree on top of that. She knows what she's doing and can answer any questions you have about your hair. I'm not saying her way of doing my hair is the only way it can be done, but it's what I'm used to. I'm very hesitant about the methods of other stylists especially since I've heard so many horror stories about people's experiences here. I like to try a place out, watch the stylist do other people's hair, then make decisions about how I want them to handle my hair, IF I want them to handle my hair at all! I'm truly at the point now where I'm just ready to get the split ends off! That picture of my hair shedding is an every night scene!! I'm sure my split ends have contributed to that. So, if me having healthy hair means going to somebody for the first time to make that happen, I'm willing to do that.

The choice I went with is Option 3. I called yesterday to make an appointment to see the same person that did efikzara's hair. My appointment is Saturday morning! After having said all I said in the last paragraph, now that I've actually made the appointment I've begun to get a little nervous. I'm hoping my prognosis isn't as dreary as I think it is but more like a small adjustment. I'm hoping this lady knows enough about what she's doing not to mess up my hair and I hope that I can find a trusty salon to go to so that I can get back on track! I'll be documenting this experience so I'm hoping for the best. Please say a few prayers for me, because I will be no more good if this doesn't work out like it should!

Stick around to find out what happens!!
ALSO
Tomorrow will be Day 1 of the Spring Break CASH Giveaway!!
Make sure you come back to enter for a chance to win $200!!


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Monday, March 17, 2014

A Different Flexi Rod Set

Modified Flexi Rod Set

Hi guys!! If you hadn't noticed, I had to take a blog break. I was actually very off the grid this past week (not really on too many social media sites and not really answering and returning phone calls like that) but I'm back now and I have a lot of goodies for you!

Today's post will showcase my modified flexi rod set. As you all know, I recently did a flexi rod set (see here). It turned out well, for the most part, but I had issues with moisture and curl retention. I decided to troll YouTube for different ways to execute the hairstyle and I came across this video. I liked the twist style she used and the size of the flexi rods, so I decided to start with changing those two things first.

First of all, I followed the same wash routine I usually go through. The only difference was the new conditioner I received in my February curlBOX (see here). I can't wait to try that product again; it did a great job on my hair!! Now, when I say twist style, I'm referring to how she treated the hair as she wrapped it around the flexi rods. I imitated this style by smoothing the products into my hair in a way that sort of smoothed the hair down as much as possible. I tightly wrapped the sections of hair around each flexi rod until I was complete. Here's what that looked like:

After completing this, I slept in the flexi rods overnight. I then unwrapped my hair from the rods (keeping the hair in curls) and pin curled each curl in place for a night. Here's what the unwrapped curls looked like:

After pin curling these curls and sleeping on them for a night, I was ready to take the curls down. I don't know what I was expecting to be different between this flexi rod set and the last flexi rod set but there really was none. This size of these flexi rods were 7/8 inches in diameter. The blue rods were 1/2 an inch (or 4/8 inches for comparison purposes).

It's not a bad thing that there wasn't much difference between the two sets, mind you, but I need more!! The finished results are below.

Lightened pic to see curls
Even with the change in conditioner, I've noticed that my hair always comes out really dry. I think I don't put as much product in my hair after washing it, because I just washed it!! Lol. I know the products aren't going to do anything but build up on my hair over the two weeks, so the slower I can make that happen the better. No matter how much or what kind of moisturizer I use, it doesn't help. The last time I washed my hair and it came out dry, I discovered that EVCO (extra virgin coconut oil) was my solution. I decided to start using EVCO at the halfway mark. The oil is so oily that I don't need much but my scalp was very dry and itchy this time around so I ended up oiling my whole scalp!

As far as the heatless curl technique goes...it has its ups and downs. I like that I don't have to sit under a dryer and that I'm not subjecting my hair to heat. The downside is the frizzy look I get. Whenever I got my hair curled or put on flexi rods at the salon, the look came out very polished. My cosme was able to brush wrap the curls, comb them out, and they would pop right back. I wish I would try to comb these heatless curls! Lol.

Everything I do is a work in progress, but I'm hanging in there. I happen to have a few updates about my salon adventures in DC which I was going to include in this post, but I've decided to separate that into it's own post.

SO...look forward to that!!

Have a great start to your week (as I enjoy yet another snow day:-)!

P.S. - Don't forget to come back on Thursday, March 20th to enter the Spring Break Cash Giveaway!! Definitely be on the lookout for that! Also, if you're interested in being a co-host or contributor you have until tomorrow night to enter! There's great opportunities here for everyone!!

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

curlBOX Product Review

Aunt Jackie's In Control

I'm finally here with my first curlBOX review! It seems like forever since I signed up. There was a big mix up with delivery THEN I had to wait until wash day to try an item in the box because this was a box full of conditioners!

If I would've known Beautiful Textures Moisture Butter was going to be in the box, I would've held off on buying a new container. Now I have 3 containers but it won't be for naught because I'll definitely use it all!!


Now, let's get to this product. I followed my normal wash routine. There was a difference and that difference was Aunt Jackie's Curls & Coils in control "Anti-Poof" Moisturizing & Softening Conditioner - Sulfate-free/Paraben-free/No mineral oil/No Petrolatum: For Natural Curls, Coils, & Waves.

I'll be honest and mention that I was skeptical about trying this product. I've only used products that were well known to me or my cosmetologist. I've never heard of this product or this brand so it made me think twice BUT the world of natural hair is growing and changing every day! How else will you know what new things work for you hair if you don't try?!

Here's what my hair looked like after I applied the conditioner and detangled (to the right).


How does this conditioner compare to past conditioners?

My hair was much softer while and after using this product. My curl pattern was much more defined after putting this product in my hair and it looked like it would be a great product to use for a wash and go. I'm actually tempted to try one when it warms up...all because of this product! You know smell is a big factor for me and this product passed that test. Some would probably consider the smell a bit strong, but after putting other products in my hair (leave-in conditioner, moisturizer, etc.), I could no longer smell it. I also didn't have to use a lot of product. It worked well as a detangler and I can definitely see myself using this product again.


The picture on the left shows my hair after washing out the conditioner. You can't tell me this isn't wash and go material!! The only thing I'd do differently for a wash and go is define the curl rather than combing the curls out!

I'm not going to recommend this product after only one use, but in my next post I'll show you how the style turns out after having used this product!

Have you heard of or used this product?? If so, what are you thoughts about it??

April 2016 Update

I haven't used this product much after writing this post. I found myself in several situations that made me come to the conclusion that I needed to be seeing a professional.

I will say that I've used this product as a detangler but it didn't work well for my situation. It could be because this product isn't a good detangler or it could be that my hair was far beyond DIY detangling when I tried to use this. I would still recommend using this product as just a conditioner. It didn't harm my hair, but I've found better conditioners since writing this post.

Also, my twitter handle changed since making this pictures, so follow me under my current handle!


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Monday, March 3, 2014

February '14 Length Check

25 Months Natural

As promised, I'll only be doing length checks every other month. February is my first length check of 2014 and I must admit that I'm not too excited about it. Let's go on and take a look:

December 25 = 99 weeks natural (1 year, 10 months, 25 days)
58 weeks since the BC (1 year, 1 month, 12 days)


March 2 = 105 weeks natural (2 years, 1 month, 2 days)
64 weeks since the BC (1 year, 3 months, 17 days)

So...I found a date calculator! Now I won't have to calculate the time in my head!! As far as a summary, not too much has changed since my last length check:
  • Let me tell you how hard it is to line these pictures up so my face is in the same spot...lol! Even though it looks like my hair didn't grow any, my hair is growing and I know that. I feel like the growth is for nil because of my split ends. I've gone through so many options about what to do because I want to take care of this NOW!! You don't exactly want to go to someone new when you need a haircut...and I don't have enough time saved up to take off from work right now, so...I'm in a bind! I've even thought about getting a pair of scissors and doing it myself!! For now, I'm just trying my best not to manipulate my hair too much and I'm also trying not to be too frustrated with it when I style it.
  • I finally got an opportunity to use one of the products from the February curlBOX (which I'll be writing a post on later in the week). This first curlBOX was full of conditioners, so I couldn't use them until wash day. The March box has already been sent out, so I'm curious to see what's in it AND hopefully they'll send it to the correct address this time!
  • Other tidbits
    • I'm still dealing with a lot of shedding.
    • I'm trying to drink more water because I know that affects my hair.
    • ...and I had to revert back to coconut oil this past two weeks because my hair was more dry than usual. I attributed this to the wrap lotion I used as setting lotion!
My emotions go up and down about my hair, mostly down. People tell me all the time how great it looks but I just want it to be as healthy as possible and I know it's not. It's getting thicker, but not longer and no matter what I do, it won't be good enough until I get these split ends off. Also, I still have trouble trying to find different ways to wear my hair. I try to do up-do's but they never work out...which is just as discouraging as my split ends.

I'll continue to go through these motions because I need and have to do my hair!! But y'all pray for me!

P.S. - I got another snow day today...Yay!! I love less than 5-day work weeks!!
Y'all have as good a day as I'm having (because I'll still be sleep when this posts :-)!


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