Something New for Joanna!

Hi loves! I hope you’re all doing amazingly. I wanted to come to you with a quick “experiment” that I did on Joanna over the past couple days.
As you all know, I’m trying to rock out my wigs for a long term protective style for the autumn/winter. Since it’s still been nice and sunny in the afternoons, I’ve been working with Joanna.
I hadn’t washed her since I’d worn her last, so she looked a bit frizzy and busted. I was rushing to go out, so I couldn’t do anything at the moment. This is how she looked.

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Not too bad, but definitely in need of some TLC. I couldn’t wash her because she wouldn’t dry in time, but I just wanted to spruce her up a little.
So I twisted her up in really chunky twists and put perm rods at the end for a cute twist and curl.

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I didn’t put any product in her or anything. These are the results.

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Can you see it? The difference is very subtle, but it’s there. Bigger, bouncier, more uniform curls!

That’s all I have for you today, girlfriends! 

Until next time,
Mandisa ♥

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The Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse

Hi loves! Today is the day I’m bringing to you my scalp’s lifesaver these past few months, the ACV rinse. 

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Apple cider vinegar is a vinegar that is made from an apple or cider must and has a pale to medium amber color. It is used for many things, but in the natural world, we use it to clarify.

Here’s how I use it: Before washing, I dilute my ACV with two times as much water in an applicator bottle. I separate my hair into four sections and squeeze the diluted concoction all over my scalp. I then massage and scrunch that in to help lift the dirt and debris off of my scalp.

DO NOT USE STRAIGHT UP APPLE CIDER VINEGAR!!!

Here’s why: In our hair, we have a thin layer of oil and sweat secret by our glands known as the acid mantle. The acid mantle protects our hair from bacteria and dirt. Apple cider vinegar is HIGHLY acidic and it will destroy the acid mantle. The key here is caring for our hair so that it can grow, not destroying it.

 

Until next time,

Mandisa

The Sadnesses of a Melancholy Scalp

Hello! I hope your day is going fantastically! Today I’m here to talk to you about some scalp issues that I’ve been having for the past couple months.

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An unhealthy scalp.

So we all know that you can not have healthy hair without a healthy scalp, yes? No? Well, now you do. Having a healthy scalp is extremely important to overall hair health, and my scalp has not been happy and healthy for a while now. 

 

Does your scalp itch, sometimes unbearingly?

Does your hair seem to break off at the root?

Is your hair caked with dirt and/or flakes even though you washed it a couple days ago?

If your answer to any of these questions were yes, your scalp might be healthy.

 

Step 1: Know The Difference Between A Dry Scalp and a Dirty Scalp

An dry scalp will sound much like pencil on paper when you scratch. Your fingernails after scratching will produce no dirt, and your scalp will feel PARCHED.

A dirty scalp, however, will sound more like a ballpoint pen on paper when scratched. Also, when you look under your fingernails, there will be debris caked up under there.

Now that you can differentiate between a dry and an itchy scalp, you can execute a plan of action.

For a dry scalp, you’re going to want to focus on moisture. As well as directly moisturizing the scalp, you’re going to want to ingest more water than you usually do. Also, dump the sulfates. I know I said I liked them in a previous post, but they’re a negative. For real.

For a dirty scalp, you’re going to want to focus on clarifying and cleansing. The main point for a dirty scalp is to stop, or at least ward off, product buildup. You can do cowashes more often, or my favorite, the ACV rinse, which I’ll post about seperately.

As for me personally, I suffer from both. My scalp is both dry and dirty. I don’t know why, but my scalp just collects more dirt than usual. That is why it is IMPERATIVE that I shampoo on a weekly basis. My scalp is also dry, and I would scratch to the point where I felt like there were sores on my head. (Gross.)

Now I, like everyone, thought that oils were moisturizers for my scalp, which really, looking back on my thought process, made no sense at all. Anyhoo, I would oil my scalp religiously, every week. And every time that my scalp itched, I would simply drown the spot in oil and it would temporarily relieve it. 

This all came to a head when I put in my Marley twists. That itching was something SERIOUS that I would not wish on my worst enemy. I would definitely not. It was really bad. At this time, I was also working out every day, and that would add to the build up and compound upon the itching. 

After doing some research, and speaking to some naturalista buddies, I developed a plan and began to implement it. Listen to me when I tell you that the itching is much less now. I would itch until I broke skin before, and now, if I do have an itch throughout the day, I scratch and keep it moving. It’s so much better. Really. I love this community. 🙂

Just to clarify, you should only use oils on your hair shaft after moisturizing.

Here is my plan that I am currently following:

1– NO SULFATES. I now use shampoo that has no sulfates. Sulfates are agents that are really drying on the hair and they dry your scalp out.

2– ACV Rinse. I use an ACV rinse to help me clarify my hair before washing. It really helps with lifting any debris on the scalp before washing it off.

 

This has worked wonders for me so far, and I will continue doing it. 🙂

Until next time,

Mandisa

TOTM (September) – Drying Curly, Kinky, & Coily Hair

Hi Lovelies,
During my journey thus far, aside from my recent issues with being lazy or just the normal problems that transitioners might face, like trying a twist out or braid out and your hair looks great until you get to those limp ends. -_-. Of course there are way around that (rolling or tucking away your ends) but you wouldn’t know that if you don’t expermient or look to other naturals for help.Basically what I’m saying is if I didn’t educate myself about my hair & hair in general this journey would a lot harder. Because of research I’ve made simple changes in my regime that I’ve noticed really make transitioning easier than I first expected. Through the successful trails… and others not so much I’m still almost 2 in a half years in still learning. Okay onto the tips!

1. Shake & Squeeze!
Depending on the porosity of your hair, it can hold lots of water, espeically us curly heads. I know that my own hair since I rarely use a blow dryer takes about 1-2 hours to fully dry. So to chop off some of that drying time give your hair a gentle squeeze & shake out the excess water.

2. Toss The Towel. Grab a Tee.
Most towels we use to dry our body with aren’t exactly the best for our lucious strands. Why you ask? Well… for a few reasons our kinky, coily, curly hair needs to retain as mucuh moisture as possible. Cotton or Polyester towels easily soak up that moisture our strands desperatly need. Also our hair strands can easily get intertwined with the rough fiberes on the towel, which leaves us with snagged hair. Especially if you’re one of those ladies who go absolutely crazy with the towel motions. So to avoid this simply save that towel for your body and use an old tee shirt instead. A microfiber towels are good as well since they aren’t as abrasive, but who wants to do all that when everyone has an old tee shirt lying around! Save that money hunny!

Remember! Pat & Gently squeeze to remove water. No rubbing back & forth with the tee shirt or microfiber towel. We don’t want to make extra work for ourselves later in the detangling department.

3. Can’t Live Without It The Dryer? Fine. Diffuse
If you’re one of those pepople that really really have to blow dry their hair. Or you’re just in a hurry & don’t want to look like a wet doggy, break out that diffuser! Normal hair dryer apply direct heat to the hair. A diffuser evenly distributes the air without disrupting your lovely curl pattern. If you can… stick with low to medium heat.

Much Love!
Irene

Let’s Check the Length|Length Check #1

Hello loves! Here we are, almost running this blog for a year and I haven’t done a length check. So I figured the best time is now!

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Yep, my hair looked a little cray. Don’t judge me. I measured the right side,

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the left side,

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the back, and the top, but I’m sure you guys didn’t want to see any more pictures of me acting a fool.

Here’s the measurements:

Right Side: 8 inches
Left Side: 8.5 inches
Back: 9 inches
Top: 7.5 inches

Guys!!! An average of 8 inches in a year?! That’s two inches more than normal! *insert dancing emoji here*

Here’s my plan to capitalize on that hair growth for the winter months. I will be utilizing PROTECTIVE STYLING– big time. When life gets uber busy for me again, I will be wearing wigs 24/7. My hair will be nicely braided up and protected underneath. My wigs are a big help with that because I can fully protect my hair, but still look BOMB during the winter months. I’m very excited to show you guys my winter wigs and start playing around in them.

Here’s to happy, healthy hair growth! 🙂

Until next time,
Mandisa

Let’s Get Real: In a Funk

Hey Everyone,

I wanted to have a little chit chat with you. Me and hair have been going through some stuff and I need to vent about it. I figured what better place than our hair blog to do it! The fact of the matter is that I’m pretty much getting lazy. I love my hair and I’m very happy with the growth I’ve experienced thus far, but I’ve been having moments where I simply don’t want to spend 20-30 minutes  detangling my hair, or spending an hour or more styling it. I just can’t be bothered at the moment, especially now that I’m back in school. I have to reevaluate my proirities and if I find myself spending more time on my head, rather than in my books or enhancing my spiritual life/ walk with God something has to change. I know I recently purchased my half wig but that still requires me to have some hands on contact with my hair. Which if you remember from a few posts back is exactly what I normally like. For some reason I’m going through this rare case where during the week I’d rather just slick my hair in a bun and keep it moving. Soooo I’m contemplating getting a sew-in for the fall/winter months. Which is strange for me because the last time I had a sew it was for my high school graduation, and I could not WAIT to take it out. I figured since I’m going through this weird/lazy time with my natural hair journey, before I end up damaging my hair becuase of my lack of proper care for it, I’d rather prpotect it until I feel ready and back to my regular self who likes to switch up my hair styles and what not. Don’t worry guys I’m totally not thinking about getting a perm. No way! If you have any pictures or recommendations of styles I should consider I’d loovveee to see them! I’m pretty much going to try to keep it as simple but cute as possible.

Thank for hearing me out!

Mwah,

Irene

Cantu Shea Butter Creamy Hair Lotion

Hello Everyone! I’m back with a product review that I’ve been meaning to post the week I bought it. I’ve been so excited to tell you guys about this, but of course life gets in the way and I forget. I don’t know if you guys know, but I was on the hunt for the perfect moisturizer since the very beginning of my natural hair journey. I’ve tried numerous moisturizers but I never seemed to be fully satisfied. Of course I didn’t waste the products. Ya’ll know I’m on a budget! I would try to tweak them…but once they were used up I wouldn’t look back. Untilllllll I came across this bad boy. First of all I’m sure you’ve all heard of the Cantu Shea Butter Leave In Conditioner, that everybody and their mama has used and loved, but eventually dried their hair out because of the silicones. As for me I never got around to trying it since I’m content as of right now in the leave in department. So when I saw the Creamy Hair Lotion I had to give it a go and I’m truly glad I did. The search is OVER! Hooray!

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Price: $7.99 / 13oz

Overview|Description: Cantu for Natural Hair Creamy Hair lotion will soften, moisturize, and detangle your curls, leaving them light, shiny, and bouncy. Made with 100% Pure Shea Butter and formulated without chemicals or harsh ingredients, Cantu for Natural Hair restores your real, authentic beauty. Embrace your curly, kinky, or wavy hair with Cantu for Natural Hair.

No Mineral Oil, Sulfates, Parabens, Silicone, Phthalates, Gluten, Paraffin, Propylene Glycol, PABA or DEA.  

–          Conditions curly, kinky, and wavy hair

–          Leaves curls full of body and shine

–          Detangles and softens hair

Suggested Use:  Apply to damp, towel dried hair section by section. Reapply to dry hair as needed for moisture.

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Canola Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth-20, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Fragrance, Stearalkonium Chloride, Glycol Stearate, Polyquaternium-11, Cetyl Alcohol, Cocos Nucifera Oil (Coconut), Persea Gratissima Oil (Avocado) , Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil (Sweet Almond), Simmondsia Chinensis Oil (Jojoba), Olea Europaea Fruit Oil (Olive), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Aloe Vera), Mangifera Indica Seed Butter (Mango), Melia Azadirachta Seed Oil (Neem), Daucus Carota Sativa Seed Oil (Carrot), Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil (Macadamia), Glycine Soja Oil (Soybean), Argania Spinosa Kernal Oil (Argan), Lonicera Japonica Flower Extract (Honeysuckle), Laminara Cloustoni Extract (Sea Kelp), Salvia Officinalis Leaf Extract (Sage), Vitis Vinifera Seed Extract (Grape), Urtica Dioica Extract (Nettle), Silk Amino Acids, Phenoxyethanol , Ethylhexylglycerin

My Opinion: I’ll just warn you right now. I have not one bad thing to say about this product. Ya’ll know I’m brutally honest, so when I think something is good…it’s good. This product is not lying it does exactly what it says it will do on the bottle and it smells like tropical heaven. As soon as I applied this to my hair I felt it begin to soften and detangle. Now before ya’ll come back yelling at me, I Do detangling before acutally putting this in my hair but this makes it all the more easy. So don’t think you can slap this on your tangled hair and it will instanly work miracles. LOL.  It’s great but I’m not sure if it’s that great. But hey, you never know.  It amazes me how they managed to create a product that is so moisturizing but super light at the same time! My hair doesn’t feel yucky by the end of the week from build up. With this I would say I only have to re moisturize my hair one to two times out of the week. Even that’s probably out of habit. If I missed a day my hair would be just fine. Whatever style I’m rocking, because of this creamy lotion, my hair is bouncy, soft, shiny. I just love it and the fact that it’s made for natural hair is a bonus. Between moisturizing with this and sealing with my coconut oil, but hair has been SUPER manageable. I couldn’t be happier.

5 Stars!

Love Ya’ll

– Irene