Monday, October 31, 2011

30-Day Blogging Challenge!

Hey Lovelies,
    I was trying to figure out a way to strike up my blog and get people interested in what I'm all about here at I'm a Natural Black Girl. Then something came to me: "How can they know what this blog is all about, if they don't even know anything about....YOU?" Kind of silly, huh?

Soon after I had begun this blog (January 2011), I kind of got overwhelmed with the whole "natural hair" thing (I had only been natural for about 5/6 months) as well as trying to blog everyday. "I just needed a break", I told myself. So I did just that. I twisted up my hair for about 5 months (wash, conditioner, dc, detangle, twist, repeat) and just relaxed. Or so that was my plan. Instead of leaving natural hair all alone alltogether (now, cmon - that's kind of impossible as I'm obsessed!), I decided to gain more insight about what I wanted my blog to be about. I began to read OTHER natural hair/beauty blogs. I became even more obsessed. My Google Reader contains over 100 natural hair blogs - including Curly Nikki, BGLH, Naptural85, Afrobella, Glamazini, Kinky Curly Coily Me, College Curlies, and the list goes on. I read....read...and read some more. I LOVE them. They gave me SO much inspiration to blog because I got SO much enjoyment out of reading them, and I would like for other to feel that way when they read mine. But, I want my blog to be different in some sort of way. I have to find my niche, persay. It will DEFINITELY be natural hair-focused, but I need something....unique.

But, anywhoo, before I divulge what that "uniqueness" will be, I want my readers to, first, get to know the creator of this blog. Who she is, what she's all about, and what she can offer to you, as readers. So with that being said, I'm going to begin a series: "30 Days of Me" Blogging Challenge. This entails of me publishing one post at least ONCE a day for the next 30 days. These posts will be focused on allowing you to get to know me. I will be starting this challenge starting tomorrow, November 1, 2011 (I don't like starting on random days - just to start you off with something about me LOL!).

I'm looking forward to you learning more about me - and, likewise, me learning more about you through your comments and readership. Thanks so much for your support, thus far, and here's to the future with I'm a Natural Black Girl!

Later Lovelies,

TU - U KNOW!!!!

Don't act like yall don't KNOW!!!!



I am a PRESTIGIOUS 2009/2010 alumna of the magnificent, historical site of higher learning known as Tuskegee University. My, my, my what a fabulous university it is.

Our 2011 Homecoming will be held this week (October 30-November 5) and I will be ARRIVING in Tuskegee, AL on Friday, November 4. It.will.be.LIVE! I will be reuniting with awesome classmates, teachers, friends, and best of all.......
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I SAID MY SORORS! (Yeah) MY SWEET SWEET SORORS!! (Yeah) TELL ME WHAT IS A DELLLTAAAAA!!! (What is a Delllllttaaa!!!) A DELTA IS WHAT A AKKKKA (ack!) AIN'T, WHAT A ZETA WANNA BE, WHAT A SIGMA CAN'T. WHAT AN ALPHA LIKES, WHAT A KAPPA LOVESS, WHAT A QUE-PSI-PHI CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF! OO-OOP! OO-OOP! OO-OOP, OO-OOP, OO-OOP! OOOOOOOO-OOP! OO-OOP, OO-OOP, OO-OOP!
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*end-of-hypeness* LOL!

I.can.not.wait! I am so super-dee-duper excited. I've got my wardrobe all set (few things left to purchase), and plans all made. All that's really left to do is figure out what to do with..... my ....hair.......yeah. About that. I want a style that is VERY low-maintenance, but....out. Is that an oxymoron? lol! My hair shrinks like crazy when left out, therefore causing wash day disasters with tangles and knots. I'm looking for suggestions, but I'm kinda thinking of a stretched braidout. I've never done a stretched hairstyle, so this one will be new for me. But I think it will be fun. My wash day (Tuesday - I want to give my braids time to set nicely for Thursday) will consist of:

Prepoo (Tonight) - Hair Twisted into about 10 twists with scrunchies loosely on ends
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Darcy's Botanical's Organic Coconut and Hibiscus Conditioning Oil

Wash/Condition  - Hair Twisted into about 10 twists with scrunchies loosely on ends
Eden Body Works Peppermint Tea Tree Shampoo
Eden Body Works Peppermint Tea Tree Conditioner

Deep Condition for 30 - Using Hair Therapy Heat Therapy Wrap
Olive Oil
Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Repair Cream
Shea Moisture Purification Masque

Style/Detangle
I will then set my hair into about 10 braids using the following:
Leave-In - Oyin's Shine and Define
Oil Sealant - Grapeseed Oil
Styler - So many choices - I'll decide later...lol

I probably won't undo the braids until Thursday evening when I'm getting dressed to PARTAYYYY (Young Alumni Parties in ATL). I will wear beanies Tues-Thurs (it's cold anyway!). Hopefully it will turn out to be a success! If not......I'm bring my products just in case we need to do emergency repair!

I'll share the results with you guys next week after I return. Did I forget to mention that I'm super-dee-duper excited? Well, I am! YAY!

Later lovelies,

My Natural Hair Journey - 15 Months Natural!! Part II

Hello Lovelies,
     I'm baccccckkkkk with Part II of my natural hair journey story! Part I summarized my relaxed days, pretty much. It was drab and dreary, I must say. But here comes the good stuff!
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
So, remember this photo?
This is where is begin to get fed up right?

Well, during this time, I had also just started my first semester of graduate school. I began to form some close relationships with a few of the ladies in the program. One, particularly, began to intrigue me because of her....hair. One day it would be straight, and one day it would be...in a fro. I'm like...how is she doing that? Honestly, I was thinking subconsciously, because my forward mind really didn't think about it all that much. Anyway, our hair conversations began, and she was telling me that she went natural because she has a skin condition, Eczema. As a result, her scalp could not handle the chemical process of relaxing and would result in flare-ups and burns. She stopped soon after discovering this, and transitioned to natural. Here she is!!!!

 
She would go from this beautiful head of straight hair
 
To this wondrous, hair envious puff!!!!! I would be like..... O_o (LOL!)
 I was SO intrigued. As I began to ask questions, she informed me about transitioning, and what products she used, her regimen, and so on. Once I knew all of this, and knowing the history and success rate of my relaxed hair, there was no further discussion to be had. I would be transitioning from this point forward (YAY!).


I began transitioning in February 2010 and it was...difficult. In the beginning, I didn't really know what to do. So I began to research. Not heavily, just on YouTube on different transitioning styles that I could try. I attempted braidouts and rod sets, and really stuck with these for the majority of my transition. I did get some microbraids for a short duration in March. They were awesome, and would have stayed in longer, but they kept falling out after only a week. (Shame on me for getting a relaxer only 2 weeks prior, my hair was just too straight to hold them).

HAWT Stuff!

I also dabbled into weave. FAIL! I went to one of these $50 sew-in spots in Atlanta suburns and the lady only washed/conditioned my hair and did no deep condition. She then proceeded to braid synthetic hair along with my real hair for length purposes. I think my scalp had some sort of allergic reaction with the synthetic hair (or something!) and my scalp was on FIRE! I tried so hard....I put oil on my scalp, I carried around a rattail, everything, but.....alas, after only a week...it HAD TO GO! $200 down the drain. Wahhhhhh! It was serious, yall.


The next six months consisted of braidouts and rodsets. I loved them because they'd last around 4-5 days and then I could do it all over again. What I DIDN'T like, however, was the amount of breakage I was seeing. I was getting tired of it. What's the point in all this hard work of transitioning, if all of my hair is going to eventually fall out anyway??? (I know that's not exactly solid, but that's how I felt).

Now that I look back at this photo, this braidout was a mess...

I loveeeed rod sets, they just took so long! I was just learning.

Cute braidout!

Another rod set
Loved this braidout!

I was nearing the end of my graduate school program, about to start a new life, in a new place. What's not a better way to start than to Big Chop!!!! I BC'd on July 21, 2010, just days away from my 23rd birthday (whoop to the Leos in the houuussee!). The only negative was that the barber cut off more hair than was relaxed, therefore, I might as well not have transitioned at all...LOL! I was still cute THO!





I was styling and profiling, yall! Yall couldn't tell a sista naaahhhhtttinnnnggg!!! LOL I absolutely loved the results. I was not sad at all, I loved the low-maintenance routine (which consisted of co-washing daily with V05 Moisture Milks - Passion Fruit Smoothie Conditioner, apply a healthy amount of Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Repair Cream, and sealing ends with Shea Butter). I accessorized like a mug, and I was F.L.Y.

What happened after the BC? Stay tuned for Part III!!!!

P.S. - Yeah, I'm long-winded, but I like to be detailed so that you can go to another place in time with me!

Later Lovelies,

Friday, October 28, 2011

My Natural Hair Journey - 15 Months Natural!!

Hey Lovelies!

I just thought now would be a good time to share my natural hair story with you guys!!!! I decided to do a picture heavy story, so be prepared. It's been a long journey, but SO worth it! Enjoy!
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source
During my childhood, I remember what many of us call "the hot comb". I sat in a chair next to the stove, and my mom would turn the burner to "high", place the comb on top, and let it sit until it was smoking. What commenced shortly thereafter was a number of burns in various locations (ear, forehead, nape, etc.) and greasy, thin, straight hair. Afterwards, she would do a braid-style and let me wear that for awhile...and then the process repeated itself.

*SIGH*

There was no talk of wrapping, protective-styling, healthy hair-care. Nothing. Soonafter (I guess I was around 6 or 7), I received my first relaxer. (No pics for this either, sorry! Let's fast forward to high school! (YAY! Pics)
Senior in High School Spring 2005
My hair....grew. It was probably around shoulder-length. But I did nothing...and I do mean...NOTHING to it. Either down or pull it up into a ponytail. Oh, and btw, I flat-ironed it every. single. day. Hey, nothing wrong with that! Right? WRONG.
February 2006
In the beginning, I began to notice that my hair wasn't growing past this certain length. It wasn't just not    growing, it was shedding horribly in the back and I saw huge amounts of breakage. Never once did I attribute it to the relaxers. Everyone got them, why was this happening to me? I figured it was just something I was doing wrong. Combing too much? Wearing turtlenecks? Playing in it? Climate? On and on. Eventually, I got fed up and decided to chop it off. 

 So I cut about 2-4 inches off until it resulted in this:

 This is my lil man, Xavier. He was 6 months old here. May 2007 - Greasy!
 
 After this cut, my.hair.would.not.grow.at.all. Everytime I would comb it, I was shed like crazy. Please remember that in all of this, I was still flat-ironing everyday. Manipulating everyday. Getting relaxers ever 4 weeks. Shall I go on?

So, of course, I chopped it again. I knew this time would be gold. Right? Here are the results:

October 2008 - Once cut, I went back to the same bad habits - not realizing that they were doing the damage! SMH!

March 2009 - Same Routine - Not really caring for my hair. No shape, no body, no thickness...UGH!

October 2009 - I'M FED UP (Even though I don't look like it...lol)


Want to know the rest of my story? Well, stay tuned for Part II!!!!

Later Lovelies,


Bare With Me!

Hello Lovelies,
    I have FINALLY figured out how to change the template of my blog. The blog template that I was using previously gave me SERIOUS issues when I wanted to customize it. Please be patient as I make some changes. I truly hope you enjoy the finished product.

Peace,

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Product Review - Cantu Shea Butter Leave In Conditioning Repair Cream

Hello Lovelies!

I decided against the 'Product Review' page. I will just file all of my product reviews under the 'product review' label. Same thing right? Those tabs will probably be used for contact information, blogrolls, advertising, etc.

On to the product review!!!! :-D (NOTE: Some of these are updated, some were just pasted from the product review page, so if you've read them before, don't be surprised!)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CANTU SHEA BUTTER LEAVE IN CONDITIONING REPAIR CREAM


Price: $5.39/16oz Tub (Are you kidding me?????) via Amazon.com

What Cantu Shea Butter® says about this product...
Cantu® shea butter Leave In Conditioning Repair Cream is made with real shea butter and essential oils to replace vital oil in your hair leaving it stronger and healthier with a natural shine.

Cantu® shea butter leave in conditioning repair cream can be used on wet hair as an intensive moisturizing treatment or to tame frizz and fly-aways.

Cantu® Shea Butter Leave In Conditioning Repair Cream helps…
  • moisturize dry brittle hair with deep penetrating oil and emollients
  • soften, detangle and add shine to hair
  • protect hair against heat and sun styling damage
  • provide extra protection from split ends and breakage
Ingredients:
Water, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Glycine Soja Oil (Soybean), Propylene Glycol, Polyquaternium 37, Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, PPG 1 Trideceth 6, Cetyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Stearalkonium Chloride, Trimethylsilylamodimethicone, Panthenol, PPG 1 PEG 9 Lauryl Glycol Ether, Lanolin Oil, Cinnamidopropyltrimonium Chloride, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Acrylamidopropyltrimonium Chloride/Acrylamide Copolymer, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Benzophenone 3, BHA, BHT, Zea Mays Oil (Corn), Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, DMDM Hydantoin, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
IANBG Review:
I. love. this. product. The smell is almost fruity, but not so much. I'll provide a more accurate smell when I have it in front of me. I began using this back when I was transitioning by way of my natural friend, Brittney. She was critical in my decision to transition to natural as she was the first natural that I was ever close with. I started out using this product to help set my braidouts. I would (I think - can't really remember) use this along with shea butter to seal my braids. My braidouts would be so soft!!!! Hold is another thing.....since I was still transitioning, my relaxed hair would not hold the style well.

Since I had good results with transitioning hair, once I BC'd, I attempted to use it on my TWA. Well...well...WELL! Talk about a match made in heaven. I'd rinse my hair in the shower, co-wash with V05 Moisture Milks - Passion Fruit Smoothie, apply a healthy portion of this to hair and top it all off with shea butter. *swoon* My hair would stay soft the entire day. Of course, when I had a TWA, I co-washed daily and did not have to worry about 2 and 3-day hair.

Nowadays, this stuff still does the trick in terms of moisture. I normally use it in the winter-time as a leave-in under my sealant and styling cream. During the colder months, I need a thicker, creamier leave-in whereas in the summer months, it is too thick and I need a leave-in more along the lines of a spritz, or even water. For styles that need a hold, I would recommend using a styling cream/paste along with it, as this product is meant to infuse moisture, not provide hold.

I've heard of some lovelies saying that this product does not work well with other products. This is not the case with me, as I have used plenty of oils and products in combination with this product. HOWEVER, I do NOT mix this product with any type of gel. That has caused some spotting in some sections and inconsistent blending in.

IANBG Rating:
Moisture: ***** (5 stars - EXCELLENT!)
Hold: ** (2 Stars - My hair laughs!)
Compatibility: **** (4 Stars - Do NOT use with gels)
Smell: **** (4 Stars - I like sweet smells!)
Overall: **** (4 Stars)

Have any of you tried this product? What was your take on it?

***DISCLAIMER: I purchased this product with my own money. I was in no way compensated or contacted by Cantu Shea Soft to provide this review. All comments are of my own jonest opinion and are based on MY hair and its reaction to the products.

I'm Featured on Kinky Curly Coily Me!!!!

Hey Lovelies!!!

Well, my week is turning out to be FABULOUS. My last post discussed how I was recently featured on For the Fabulous and Frugal. Well yesterday, I was scrolling through my bloglist in Google Reader and up pops....ME! I have been featured on Kinky Curly Coily Me! Check out my feature HERE. Creator/Editor Janelle, has TRULY helped me out. When my hair was a bit above TWA length, Janelle's YouTube video inspired me to do many styles that I did not think were possible on my hair. My favorite style was her Two-Strand Twist Pin-Up Style. Check it out:


Here are my results:

With an added headband for extra flair - LOVE IT!
I love Kinky Curly Coily Me, mostly because she has thicker hair, therefore, most likely, I can simulate ALL of her styles. Products are so-so for me, because since our hair composition is not identical, not all of the products she has loved, I love. But overall, I love her blog. Check her out!!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I'm Featured on For the Fabulous and Frugal (College Curlies) !!!!

Hey lovelies!
I am so excited about being featured on one of my first love blogs, For the Fabulous and Frugal (formally know as College Curlies)!!!! I love that the focus of her blog is to have fabulous hair (and clothes), but not handing over a kidney in order to do so. For many of us naturals (especially for me because I am still in the PJ stage), we spend ALOT of money on natural hair products. Yeah, it may eventually trail off once we decided to leave our purchasing habits behind, but for now, I need help.
source
That's where Jamila comes in. She reviews tons of products, and also gives you her opinion on the price. She also loves to thrift which I may get into in the near future. I'm sick and tired of spending all of my money on clothes and hair. I want to be Fabulous and Frugal!!!! :-D Be sure to mosey around her blog....... once you are done reading my feature!!! (LOL!)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tell us about your hair journey! Why did you go natural?
I went natural as a result of hair that never flourished. I grew up in a household where relaxers were a must every 4 weeks (5 was a stretch). I would get SO irritated when I felt "naps", and because my hair would get harder to comb when it came time for me to do my hair. I flat-ironed my hair every morning, due to not knowing much about wrapping, protective styling, etc. I did not know that my hair was suffering so much as a result of that. I just kept chopping my hair off every 1-2 years and starting over. During graduate schools, one of my best friends was natural. It made me curious....how did she get her hair like that? Did you tease it? (I was VERY ignorant about natural hair). Eventually, I began to ask questions, and she told me EVERYTHING (albeit, alot of it WASN'T correct now that I look back on it, but it broke the mold of thinking for me). Shortly after, I watched Good Hair....was totally disgusted with myself for being so darn ignorant, and immediately began to transition. My hair has flourished since then, and I could never seriously think of going back. If I want straight hair, I'll flat-iron my own.

What do you wish you knew before you went natural?
I wish that I had researched alot more about regimens, deep conditioning, TRIMMING (this one has held me back alot), and differences in individuals and their hair. I had to learn alot of that through error. I would say "trial" and error, but in the beginning, I was just doing what everyone else was doing and getting frustrated when I still ended up with dry, tangled, hair.

What's your regimen?
I don't really have a SOLID regimen right now, because I am still experimenting to see what works for my hair best. But today I am going to wash my hair with Eden Body Works Shampoo (awesome tingly feeling, great suds), condition with their conditioner, and deep condition with a mix of olive oil, Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Repair Cream (been using this stuff since Day 1), and Shea Moisture Purification Masque (*swoon*). Afterwards, I will let my hair dry until slightly damp, and take a nap at a flat-twist updo. My strands are thick, so my hair does not hold flattwists very well, but I think with a good technique, it will be a success.

Favorite products?
For the upcoming winter, Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Repair Cream (not all natural, but it works for me), castor oil, and Oyin's burnt sugar pomade.

Words of wisdom for other curlies...
It's not all about a "hair-type". There is much more that goes into a successful regimen than curl pattern and a corresponding photo. You have to take into consideration more internal hair factors, such as hair porosity (how easily water absorbs into the strands), strand thickness(how thick each individual strand is), hair density (how many strands per square cm/in/etc.), AND curl pattern (kinkier hair tends to loose moisture more easily). It's a little bit more scientific than just a head of hair that looks like yours. Find those attributes about your hair and then use products that work with those characteristics. It will make you AND your hair happier :D
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
*Does the Hammer Dance* Yes!!!!

Later Lovelies!!!

I ♥ Sushi

Hello Lovelies!
   Last Thursday, I had the chance to attend a cooking class at our local Wegman's. If you guys have never been to a Wegman's grocery store - I pity you. IT'S AWESOME. It like the Cartier of supermarkets. They have a FABULOUS fresh produce - you can find nearly everything, even those hard-to-find ingredients that you come across in recipes. They also have an awesome in-house butcher and delicious cuts of fresh meats. They have daily samples, a featured meal section - where they group the ingredients for a featured meal recipe together for easy gathering. I just can't go on enough about them.

And the best thing about it - I can literally WALK to their store. I recently re-located as a result of me and my fiancee' wanting to move to a more centralized, upscaled location. The apartment is very upscale (although we sacrificed a bit of a space), and the neighborhood is very friendly. It is located in the back section of a shopping complex with over 200 shops (YIPPEE!) and over 50 restaurants (YUMMY!). Needless to say, we are enjoying ourselves.
-----------------------------------------------------
Ok, re-focus! The class was a "How-To" course on how to make....*drumroll* SUSHI! If you learn anything about me today, learn that one of the true ways to my heart is sushi. I first tried it in college and have loved it ever since. When I was on Weight Watchers for the first time, me and my weight-loss gals would go out to eat sushi every so often to reward ourselves. Sushi is so light and tasty and the best thing about it is that it's (usually) good for you! It also comes in tons of different varieties - including raw/cooked fish, raw/cooked vegetables, cream cheese (my favorite!), different seeds/nuts for texture, and let's not forget the sauces!!!

Wegmans had actually first advertised this class about 6 months ago, but I couldn't attend because I didn't know you had to sign-up prior, so I never did. Therefore, when I showed up for the class, I couldn't attend because all the slots had been filled. So, yes, I had been long awaiting the return of this class. The setup for the class was nice! It was designed for about 25 eople, about 4 at each table. This made for good conversation and enough room to work with. We learned how to make two-types of sushi: a California Roll (Avocado, Crab Stick, and Cucumber) and a Vegetable roll (california roll - crab). Honestly, once you've learned to make one type, making different kinds is easy - unless you're making a type with a different form).

Unfortunately, I didn't take many pictures, because I didn't really think about putting this on my blog, but I decided it would help my followers get to know more about me :) Here are the few pictures I have:
Our Sushi Kit - There was also a sushi mat to form the roll, nori (seaweed) to put the rice on top of, sesame seeds for the outside of the rice, and oil to help with manipulating the rice.

Here, I had applied the rice to the nori - the instructor mentioned that the key to a fully formed roll is to completely cover the nori with the rice.

California Roll
Yeah, no pictures for the rolling, but here is the finished product - pretty good!

Vegetable Roll

The store also let the students try samples of new teas, tea lattes, seaweed salad, and seafood delight. All was yummy!

Until next time, lovelies!























Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Guess Where I Will Be This Weekend????





Some other awesome natural hair bloggers will be there as well, including
Art, of Natural NouNou
Jocelyn, of CurlyNuGrowth

(DMV Represent!!!!! :)

Hope to see you there, as well!!!!!!

Yeah...O.K. So I Know This May Sound Like A Broken Record!


So, I bet you've been wondering where the HECK I've been. My last post was back in April of this year and I was in the process of  making the blog more user-friendly by grouping product reviews all into one spot. Well, I never finished that because, frankly..........I was DONE with this whole hair thing. It wasn't the blog...it was the hair. I NEEDED a hiatus. But what happened while I was gone? Did I take a break from natural hair? Nope. But I did take a break from mine. LOL!

Yup. Two-strand twists. That's. It. From April - Now. And I've done it ALL. Updo's, hanging, beanies, minis, juicy, ETC. But still....twists. I did dabble in the braidout about 2 weeks ago which I was happy with, but mainly, I have had my hair in twists for about....6 1/2 months.

I will do a lenth comparison in the next post (since I'll be doing my hair tonight/tomorrow), so you guys will be able to see the difference. I haven't been measuring at all, so I can't even tell you exactly how much my hair has grown. I also flat-ironed my hair for THE first time - photos to come on that also - basically, that was a FAIL. lol I will HAVE to tell you guys that story in a post of its own. (Tee-hee funny).

Anywhoo, while I've been gone, supposedly taking a break from natural hair, guess what I did. I looked at OTHER people's blog. Not just one...not just 10...not just 30....not just 50. I've probably have begun surfing more than 150+ blogs over the past 6 months. I started looking at one here, three there, and became totally hooked (also deserves a post of its own). I'll be sure to write my conclusions as a result.

As you can see, the design of my blog has changed, and I LOVE it. I haven't quite decided whether to go with the black, glitzy theme or revert to a cleaner, more white theme. I'll be playing around with it over the next few weeks so don't mind me! Check it all out and stay tuned for more!!!! (I have SO much more swimming in my head, but I decided to break it all out into different posts.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...