Girls' Night Out

Hey ladies! Yesterday was my best roomie's birthday and us girls got all glammed up and went out on the town! My transitioning process was never more of a pain. Granted, I'm only in the 4th month but I never felt actual pressure to straighten my hair up until yesterday. I had done a bantu knot that Friday night and by Sunday it had already started to straighten in some spots. Things just weren't looking too good for me. In the end, I went with a pinned up puff styled with twists. It was cute and sophisticated and a reminder that there is no aesthetic need for me to straighten my hair. Going through these small trials are making me stronger and more eager to be fully natural. It's a funny thing we transitioners go through, ya know. The hardest part is the beginning when you're completely new to it and then it gets easier. Well, week 18 has arrived but I'm just itchin for week 52! That's all for now ladies...later on sometime I'll be sure to post a few of the pictures that we took. Until next time, happy healthy hair growing!


Live On The Edge

Hey ladies! While in the shower this morning, I washed my face using my clinique face wash and while doing so, I realized how close I was getting to my hairline. Depending on what product you use to wash your face, you may notice that your skin will tend to be dryer than before usage. I know personally, I cannot wash my face without going straight to my dove facial moisturizer for some relief. This made me think; if this stuff is drying my skin out, what is is doing to my edges? Your scalp simply being an extension of the skin on your face must also feel the drying effects. So what can we do? Live on the edge! Make sure you are concentrating on your edges just as much as you emphasize the health of those ends! Between face wash, make up removers and certain hair gels, your edges go through it! Make sure you're putting back all the extra moisture that you're taking out. We do want our hair line to be in tact at the end of the day right? Right! Til next time ladies...Happy Healthy Hair Growing!


Hair Envy!

Something that I notice in a lot of women who transition or are thinking of going natural is Hair Envy!!! Now what exactly is hair envy, you may ask? Hair envy is this right here: "Ugggh, I wish my hair looked like yours!!" or "When I go fully natural, that's how I want my hair to look." LADIES! NO! Don't play yourself! Hair envy is a one way ticket to creamy crack central because that's exactly what you're gonna do if you don't first realize that no two curls are the same! You may indeed possess the same hair type as another, but your hair is not going to look identical to theirs. I try my best not to fantisize about what my mane will look like once it's all grown out. I suspect that I will have a frizz problem, but even that I try not to predetermine. Don't be so judgemental about your own hair especially if it isn't even here yet! That's like judging a baby in the womb. Give it a chance. You might like it! Here are some pictures I found online after googling "natural hair", of naturals with all different hair textures. Enjoy!!


Trader Girls

Mara AKA "Daring Diiva"

NATURAL SINCE: May 2008 - June 2009 (i gave in... ugh)

TIPS & TRICKS: When it comes to natural hair, the "Wet, fresh out of the shower" look NEVER fails... unless its winter, then of course you'll get sick. Don't be afraid of your curls, whether their loose wavy curls or tight afrocentric curls, embrace them & RAWK THE HELL OUT OF THEM!! ***MY FAV*** Going natural can be one of the most difficult things a woman could ever decide to do, it's really hard to learn new tricks and trades when it comes to a natural look. When and if you try something new, and aren't quite sure of how others will perceive it, put your best face on n ROCK it like you're starting to set a new trend. When I say put your best face forward I mean EXACTLY that... Eyebrows must be arched, and the make up MUST be on point! A flawless face can be the finishing touch to any natural masterpiece... Need help? look me up on facebook!!! www.facebook.com/useyocommonsense

If you want to become a trader girl for Girl, yes ! all you have to do is email me at donnajenay@aol.com and we'll talk from there!!!!!


My First Puff!

Successful puff, that is. After sleeping in my bantu knot set (picture below) I woke up the next morning and took them down and preceded to style them. Before seperating and brushing the bantu knots out I rubbed about 5-6 drops of my sweet almond and jojoba oil onto my hair. While I'm sure doing this had its benefits, I didn't do it for any reason in particular. Once my hair was brushed out to achieve the curly fro look, I twisted the front and used a knee high to do my puff and voila! I learned the secret to my perfect puff is high in the back and wide on the sides (if that makes any sense). Also, I try not to make mine too tight. My face looks a little awkward pulled back so in order to not look so...surprised..I make sure I go easy on the pulling and tugging of my knee high. Even though I didn't have a bristle brush to work with, a little gel on the sides really helped me to achieve this look. Here are a few shots of it (click to enlarge):


ACV Rinse

Hey ladies! Over the past couple days my hair has been feeling really aquatic! Since Sunday, I've been co-washing everyday (I know it's only Tuesday but usually I wouldn't have co-washed until Wednesday)! After seeing more and more about ACV I decided to give my Bragg Organic Raw~Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar solution (1 part ACV: 2 parts water) another shot. I tried it about a month and a half ago and was not moved. In the shower, I put a little conditioner (Herbal Essences Hello Hydration) in to make my hair a bit more moveable and brushed it through with my paddle brush for even distribution. I let that sit for a little bit, about the time it took for me to handle my hygienic business, and then rinsed. Once most of the conditioner was out I parted my hair in about 1" sections using a wide toothed comb and used my applicator bottle  to distribute my ACV solution. As I was applying, my hair felt noticeably softer and silkier. So far, so good! I'm going to let it sit for about an hour with a plastic cap and then rinse it out and be back with the details!

"My hair plays hard to get..."-DJ

**************1 Hour Later**************

I'm BACK and I'm in LOVE!!! I don't know what I was doing a month and a half ago, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE the outcome of my ACV rinse this time!!! Apparently, my hair likes to play hard to get with all these new things I'm trying. Set in it's ways. Well not tonight, baby! My hair is softer than I think it's ever been! I waited an hour, rinsed and applied the following products to my hair in the following order:

1.  Aubrey Organics White Camellia Ultra-Smoothing Conditioner

 2. Herbal Essences None of your Frizzness Smoothing Conditioner

3. Raw Shea Butter

4.Sweet Almond & Jojoba Oil 

After applying very little of each product, I brushed through for an even distribution before continuing to the next product. Remember, oil is always last since it's what's going to seal in the moisture and other effects of the preceding products. Next I'm going to do a bantu knot set and allow my hair to air dry. I haven't used a towel to dry my hair in weeks now since towels tend to damage and break the hair. Tomorrow I'll be back with pictures of the final outcome! Until next time, happy healthy hair growing!



You know what, I honestly did not expect to write an entry about this topic but the issue seems to be too big to neglect. I was just on facebook looking through one of my dear friend's pictures and happened to come across this picture comment:

"ur hair is so pretty. u must b mixed wit somethin fabulous!!! lol" -the misinformed will remain nameless

I just stared at the comment, debating whether or not I would cure the ignorance with a quick rant on the relevance ethnicity has in the beauty of hair; I opted to blog instead. Now of course, none of you gals really need this lecture. All of us here know the real deal and have never been so ignorant! If only that were true. The reality of the situation is that the majority of women who possess 3B typed hair and beyond believe at some point in time, if not all their lives, that their hair is less than "pretty" or beautiful. Media suggests to us at a very young age that our hair is something that needs to be "fixed" or tamed. Yes, proper upkeep is necessary, but complete alteration is simply not. How many times have we heard this "Ooo, that child needs a perm!" Comments like these directly suggest lack of beauty in what is naturally ours. What the HELL is "pretty hair"?! Well, that's for you to decide. If you think straight hair is hideous, so be it. If you think curls look crazy, so be it. And if you think kinky hair is a mess, fine. But please don't think that in order to have "pretty hair" you have to be mixed. And please don't indulge in self hate. At the end of the day, your aesthetic is yours and that's totally fine, but please, PLEASE don't be ignorant about it!


Put A Twist On It

So last night after co washing, I moisturized with raw shea butter and my Aubrey Organics White Camellia conditioner, sealing it with some sweet almond and jojoba oil and the proceeding to do a bantu knot set. This morning when I took it out I had the perfect TWA! I was feeling a little bored with the look though so I styled it with flat twists! I think this style would be cool for ladies who are transitioning or those who deal with major shrinkage. Here are a few pictures (click to enlarge):


Reading Is Fundamental

As a transitioner, I'm trying to learn as much as possible about hair care in order to grow out and maintain my healthy natural hair. In doing so, I've learned a lot about products. What  makes a good product good? A bad product bad? A misleading product misleading? Well, I can tell you one thing, those jazzed up bottles with the pictures of the sistas who have their flyy hair swangin' in the breeze certainly aren't going to have "I'M THE WORST THING EVER FOR YOUR HAIR" written across them in big bold red letters! Girl, no! Not in this lifetime. People are trying to make money and "black hair care" is where the cash is at! We as "the enlightened" (naturals & transitioners) have to continue to research to figure out what the hidden evils are; the trick bags! As many of you already know, mineral oil and petrolatum are two things that are in the majority of "black hair care" products. In addition to being all up and through in our hair care systems, they're also horrendous for curly/kinky hair which is what is consideredto be "black hair". So how are ingredients like these helping to strengthen and better your hair? Simple, they're not! Mineral oil adds the sheen that curly/kinky hair types lack due to the difficulty that light has bouncing and reflecting off the coils. This adds a healthy look to the hair, very deceptive. Actually, what our hair needs more than anything else is MOISTURE! Mineral oil fails miserably at moisturizing the hair, but instead coats it, leaving the actual hair thirsty for the moisture that you may think you're supplying. Petrolatum, found in many greases is also a wolf in sheep's clothing. I know I speak for many when I say it aint nothing like a good scalp greasing to sooth an itchy, dry scalp. While there has been no scientific confirmation that petrolatum is "bad" for the hair, if used directly on the scalp it can cause the pores to become clogged and thus slow the growing process of your hair. I haven't used greases in my hair in over a year. Mainly, because I didn't like how it weighed my hair down and prevented it from blowing in the wind the way I liked. 

Now I know you all are curious about what else could be lurking in your favorite products and unfortunately it would take a forever to sit and go through every possible ingredient; time that i just don't have hunny! So instead I'll provide you all with a link to an ingredients dictionary that I came across and found to be very helpful! Every since I've began to do my research on what's actually in my products I've become a BOTTLE READER and thrown out a lot of wolves in sheep's clothing! Remember ladies, reading is fundamental! I encourage you all to become BOTTLE READERS as well and learn as much as possible to keep that hair in your scalp and off the floor! 

"I am an avid bottle reader!"-DJ


Broke, Broke Phi Broke. We Aint Got It!

Being in college over these past 3 years has taught me a lot of things. Time management, team work, leadership, and how to spot a bargain! Unless you've been hiding under a heavy rock in a desolate cave, you have to have at least heard about Kinky Curly Curling Custard. This product is raved about all over youtube and on various natural hair care forums on the net. Being a mere transitioner, I have not personally been able to give this product a shot and at nearly $30 a pop I'm kind of glad that I didn't! That is before discovering what I am about to share with you all. 

Being as though, I'm not fully natural, and thus unable to perform my own product experiments; I asked youtuber lia81 if it would be alright for me to post her KCCC vs. Eco Styler Gel video and she so kindly obliged! Thank you lia81! This video shows the difference between the infamous $24 KCCC and the Eco Styler Gel which costs $4.69 ($3.50 on sale) at Sally's Beauty Supply Store. Well, enough rambling from me! Watch, enjoy and make a wallet/purse friendly decision the next time you go splurging on your mane!

LOL [smiley face] WTF [crooked face] =/

BAA & TWA & APL, oh my!  Have you ever been browsing a natural hair care forum or a blog similar to this one and found yourself bombarded with acronyms that meant absolutely nothing to you but you couldn't help shake the feeling that their meaning was important to your natural hair care journey? Yeah, me too. As a transitioner, this natural hair thing is big news to me and I found myself feeling like an outsider, a serious noob, when trying to decipher the complex code that is the natural hair care acronym system. Thankfully, I found a site that had a list of these confusing terms and their meanings. SO, I thought it may be helpful if I posted that here. The whooole shabang! Enjoy ladies!

2a, 2b, 2c, 3a, 3b, 3c, 4a, 4b, 4c = curl types
2nd Day Hair = Hair that looks good enough the day after styling that it can just be misted with water or have a little product added try to revive and refresh its style.
ABUHO= Africa's Best Ultimate Herbal Oil
ACV = Apple Cider Vinegar
AOHR= Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose
AOMM = Aubrey Organics Magic Mandarin Jelly
AOWC = Aubrey Organics White Camilla
APL = arm pit length
AVG= Aloe vera Gel
B&A = Batia & Aleeza gel
BAA = Big-ass afro
BB=Blended Beauty
BBBB = Burt's Bees Body Butter
BRHG= Biosilk Rock Hard Gelee
BSL = bra strap length
BTW = By the way.
c = Coarse texture
Canopy = the top layer of hair, which is exposed to the elements the most, and is prone to frizzing
CCB = Donna Marie Coco Curl Butter
CCSS = Jessicurl Confident Coils Styling Solution
CG = Curly Girl routine or "Curly Girl," the book by Lorraine Massey
CHBC = Donna Marie Cocoa Hemp Buttercream
CJ= Curl Junkie
CK = CHS (Curly Hair Solutions) Curl Keeper
clarify = remove build-up from the hair via ACV, lemon juice, or shampooing
Clumping = strands of hair clumping together to form bigger, chunkier curls
CO = conditioner or "conditioner=only" as in not using shampoo
CO wash = conditioner washing
CON = Cream of Nature
Condish = conditioner
Crunch = the hard, crunchy feeling left by some gels when they dry, which can sometimes be scrunched out.
CV= Chagrin Valley
DH = Dear or darling husband
DM = Sometimes used to preface Donna Marie products
DT = deep (conditioning) treatment
DW = Dairy Whip from Flower Moon Soaps
Elucence MBC = Moisture Balancing Conditioner
EOs = essential oils
ETA = Edited to add
EVOO = extra virgin olive oil
f = fine texture
FOTE= Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera gel
FSG=Flax Seed Gel
GDLI = Giovanni Direct Leave=In
GF= Garnier Fructis
GioDLI= Giovanni Direct Leave In
Giovanni DLI/ GDL= Giovanni Direct Leave-In
GVP = Generic Value Products (found at Sally's)
HCC = Jessicurl Hair Cleansing Cream
HE = Herbal Essences
HEBE = Herbal Essence Body Envy
HESMU = Herbal Essence Set Me Up
HETT = Herbal Essence Totally Twisted
HG = "Holy Grail"
HIH = Devacurl Heaven in Hair
HJ = Donna Marie Honey Jelly
HO = Humble opinion
HTH = Hope that helps
IIRC= If I recall correctly
IMHO = In my humble opinion
IRL= In real life
ISO = in search of
ITA = In total agreement or I totally agree
JC C&S=Jane Carter Condition and Sculpt
JC N&S= Jane Carter Nourish and Shine
JC=Jessicurl OR Jane Carter
Jessicurl CCSS= Confident Coils Styling Solution
Jessicurl RR= Rockin' Ringlets
KBB = Karen's Body Beautiful (SS = Super Silky, LL = Luscious Locks)
KCCC = Kinky Curly Curling Custard
KCKT = Kinky Curly Knot Today
KWIM = Know what I mean?
KY = KY Jelly, the personal lubricant 
L&T = Donna Marie Lock and Twist 
LOL = Laughing out loud
LOOB= L'oreal Out of Bed (not to be confused with KY jelly)
LOOC = Lustrasilk Olive Oil Cholesterol
LOTD = Lily of the Desert (aloe vera gel)
LVPNG = L'oreal Vive Pro Nutri Gloss (usually refers to the one for medium to long curly hair)
m = medium texture 
M&H = Milk & Honey (as in Suave Milk & Honey conditioner)
MGA= Max Green Alchemy
MHC = My Honey Child
MO = My opinion.
Nexxus POTAR = Phyto Organics The Arts Emphasis Redefining Gel
NG= Nature's Gate
OC = Devacurl One Condition
ORS = Organic Root Stimulator
Ouidad CC = Climate Control Gel
Ouidad CQ = Curl Quencher
PHHB = Panyhose head band
pineapple = gathering hair gently on top of head with a scrunchie to preserve curls for 2nd day hair
Pixiecurl diffuser method= leaving diffuser OFF, using the bowl to scrunch hair up to root, turn ON for 30 seconds=1 minute, turn OFF, and then repeat on next section of hair. Minimizes frizz and reduces the amount of disturbance on the rest of your hair while diffusing.
PJ = Product Junkie (addicted to trying the next new, possibly better hair product)
plop = method of wrapping wet hair in t-shirt / microfiber towel
Plop/plunk= Method for putting your wet hair into a towel to encourage curls (video on jessicurl's website)
PM= Paul Mitchell or Private Message
'poo = shampoo
PVP = A polymer found in most gels
QCCC = Innersence Quite Calm Curling Cream
'quats = polyquaternium polymers found in styling products
RR = Jessicurl Rocking Ringlets Styling Potion
Sally's = Sally Beauty Supply
SAO = Sweet almond oil
Scrunch = encourage curl or apply product by gently squeezing/pushing hair upward from end toward root.
SheaM= Shea Moisture Leave In
Shrinkage = shortening of length due to curl tightness
SIF = Devacurl Set It Free
SL = shoulder length
SLS = Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (surfactant found in most shampoos)
SO = significant other
SOTC = scrunch out the crunch
TE = Terressentials
The Mother Ship = Devachan Salon in NYC (Lorraine Massey's)
TIA = thanks in advance
TIGI = TIGI is the brand name. They make the Bed Head and Catwalk lines.
TIGI MM = TIGI Moisture Maniac
TJ = Trader Joe's
TR= Thermal reconditioning
TS = Jessicurl Too Shea conditioner
TTO = tea tree oil
TWA = Teeny weeny afro
Understory = hair under the top exposed layer
WDT= Jessicurl's Weekly Deep Treatment
WSP=Wet Set Pudding which is by Curls by Sisters Smith (CBSS or CSS)

(this list is copied and pasted from naturally curly's website. click on the link to visit.)


Getting To Know You

"My hair said Girl, No!"-DJ

One of the most amazing things about transitioning is the serious relationship that you will inevitably find yourself in. No no no ladies, going natural won't land you 'the one', but you and your hair will develop a serious, serious bond. Today I had a little chat with my hair. It was pissed. Apparently, my hair does not like protein! Not one bit!! Protein treatments/leave ins are not our friends! Last night I did a co-wash, rinsed my hair and proceeded to put Hydratherma Naturals Protein Balance Leave-In Conditioner in my hair (obviously as a leave in). I let my hair dry over night and spritzed it this morning with H2O to get my hair manageable enough to do my transition style. About ten minutes ago I took my hair down and it felt as though I had wood glue in it! HARD as ever! I always wondered what the hype was about protein/moisture sensitive heads and now I know that I belong in at least one of those categories. As far as moisture goes, my hair seems to be responding very well to all the moisture it's been getting and hopefully that wont change. So if you're wondering which of these categories (if either) you belong in, don't worry..your hair will let you know with the quickness!! Well, that's all for now ladies! Until next time, happy healthy hair growing!!!


Product Junkie

Here are some products that you may like to try out on your hair or give your tressetimony to. 

1. Herbal Essence's Hello Hydration

I've been using this product to co-wash, meaning to wash my hair with conditioner as opposed to shampoo, for about a week or two now and it works very well for my hair. I got a 23.7 OZ bottle for about $7-8 at my local Walmart, which quite frankly is a steal! This product provides much slip, or silky feeling, that allows for effortless detangling (on wet hair of course!). Unfortunately ladies, this product does contain silicones which is not easily removed with a simple co-wash regimen and can cause product build up. Silicones can be removed from the hair with a sulfate (damn near every) shampoo but sulfate tend to be very drying to the hair and is a no no for girls with curls, kinks, or coils. All in all though, my hair responds well and I will continue to use and buy this product. Remember, no two curls are the same. Your hair may or may not react in the same manner.

2. Aubrey Organics Glycogen Protein Balancing Shampoo

The first time I used this shampoo it was also the first time I'd ever tried a sulfate free shampoo. My first reaction was "WOW"!!! It felt so good and so moisturizing to my hair. The smell reminds me of oatmeal baths and old people, which sucks but hey, what can ya do? The product consists of mostly organic ingredients and as previously stated NO SULFATES!!! I shampoo'd my hair again last Sunday using the product and was a little less impressed. I don't know if it's because my hair had been getting the moisture is needs (and deserved) or what but it didn't seem to be the magic in a bottle that I remembered it to be. With this product, it takes a second go to lather properly but that seems to be the case with me in general. Anyone else having this issue? Anyway, I digress...while I'm slowly failing to see the point in shampoos at all (especially one that isn't clarifying my hair) I would recommend this to any curly girl who may still be on the fence about the co-wash method. Shampoo is all most of us have ever known and thus it's a little hard to break free from. No worries, Aubrey will wean you off the poo quite nicely!

3.  Aubrey Organics White Camellia Ultra-Smoothing Conditioner for Dry, Coarse, Unruly Hair

Well, it smells a lot better than it's counterpart! Still not a heavenly scent, but much more tolerable. It's consistency isn't all that thick but at the same time isn't runny. It's about that of a light yogurt which i consider to be acceptable. When applying this conditioner, you don't have to be too heavy handed which is WONDERFUL!!! This conditioner makes a great detangling aid (possibly better than HH). Another perk is, just like the rest of the Aubrey Organics line, it's ORGANIC! No questionable ingredients here folks! One youtuber said "if you can't eat it...it shouldn't be going in your hair". I don't know if I would take it THAT far, but natural products are always gonna be the healthier choice to make.

4. Raw (unrefined) Shea Butter

Shea butter is most definitely the BOMB.com! If you're like me and can't stand the smell of it you can always add a scented oil to make it work for you. However, I've noticed that once it's in my hair it takes on a totally different smell (a nice one). To make it easier to use, I pop mine in the microwave for about 15 seconds before applying to my hair. Shea butter adds plenty of moisture to my hair but after a couple days, a nice co wash is necessary. My hair starts to get this sticky feel to is that bothers me to no end. Shea butter can also be used on dry skin as a moisturizer.

Well, that's it for now folks! Hope I've helped. :)


Scissor Happy Intervention

"The celebration of me and the death
of conformity."-DJ

When I first became interested in the health of my hair, I first began by getting trims every 6 weeks at the hair salon. Not long after, I purchased my first set of hair scissors. Now, I've never really had an issue taking a pair of scissors to my hair. As a child I would cut a tiny piece of my hair "just because" and in high school I cut my own bangs regularly but NEVER would I dare give myself a full trim. That is, until recently. I've become obsessed! Any little split or damaged end I see has GOT to go! No hesitation, no demonstration..it's a wrap and that sucka can't stay! It quickly became a problem though as I was cutting my hair about every two weeks only to become frustrated with my short (but split free) hair. So in this process of transitioning, I've become super eager to get rid of these relaxed ends and just break free! However, I know myself well enough to know that a short hair cut is NOT gonna fly with me. My best bet is to just hold off as long as humanly possible to keep my swag in tact. And hence, the intervention of myself, from myself, by myself! I have set a 6 month no scissor challenge for myself which also means that I will be transitioning for a minimum of 9 months before getting rid of the relaxed ends. I had originally scheduled my next trim for the 20th of August but that has now been pushed back to January 30, 2010! I am super excited and eager to get on with this process!!! Every couple of weeks I notice more growth and more curl in my new growth. I love feeling my hair! My new growth is like the hypest party and my ends are like the saddest funeral. But you know what, that's exactly what it is. The celebration of me and the death of conformity.

I think I'll end this with that. :)
here are a few pictures of my hair; relaxed/wet transitioning hair/daily transition style