Natural Hair While Pregnant and On Bed Rest

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Since 11/09/09 I've been on strict bed rest. I will be on this bed rest until this child arrives in this world. My estimated due date is 03/22/2010. Yeah I'm going to be laying down a long time. I'm only allowed 5 minutes a day to shower. Hot oil treatments are out of the question at this point and time and washing my hair to my liking is not happening. So what does a sister do while on bed rest with her hair?

1. I've reduced the amount of washing of my hair significantly. I wash my hair every two weeks. I essentially use a shower day to saturate my hair with water, apply my shampoo and rinse it out. Usually when I do this, my hair has been detangled prior to getting in the shower.

2. How do I keep my hair detangled? I keep my hair in six huge braids. This serves multiple purposes. It is a good way to keep my hair detangled on a daily basis without actually doing my hair. Once I unbraid my hair, I have an automatic braid out style for when I get to go to the doctor, so I can look decent in public.

3. I keep my hair moisturized with Monoi de Tahiti oil and my shea butter/coconut oil concotion. I rub it into the braids daily or every other day.

4. To help keep my scalp clean between washing, after doing my braid outs and coming back to my cave of a bedroom, I scratch my scalp and rebraid my hair. I spray in water in my hair and apply my Monoi de Tahiti oil. That way I can reduce any build up on my scalp. I oil my scalp with the shea butter/coconut oil concoction so that it doesn't get dried out.

5. For daily protection I keep my hair covered with my L.B. Soc.

So far this has worked well, but it seems now I have more maintenance, and it is very hard to comb and detangle hair while laying down.

I Went Wild And Crazy And Flat Ironed My Hair

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So I went wild and flat ironed my hair. I don't know if it was the pregnancy hormones or what, but I did it. I have no regrets, OK I lie. I get nervous about putting heat on my hair. I only do it once or twice a year so it isn't a big deal, but still kind of scared about possible damage. Now I'm going to list the pros and cons of flat ironing my hair, and what I do to protect my hair from damage while flat ironing.

First I will talk about what I used and did to flat iron my hair:

I used a ceramic flat iron, using a medium setting, not the high setting to help prevent damage. I use a JRS Superstar Flat Iron. The Iron is literally 8 years old. I am embarrassed to say this, but I discovered it watching a Maury Povich make over show. It works well, but I really want a Maxiglide.

To protect my hair I used TRESemme Thermal Creations Straightening Gel. It is supposed to style and protect, and it seems to work ok. I used it on dry hair. I washed my hair the night before, braided it up into six sections, and in the morning I blow dried my hair with my Vidal Sassoon Ionizer on cool air a section at a time. Once the hair was dried, I applied the straightening gel to each section and combed it through with a big tooth comb.

Once I dried my hair and applied the heat protecting gel, I used my flat iron, combing small sections, then brushing them, then applying the flat iron. It took about two hours to flat iron my hair, which explains why I do it only once a year.

I have had the style for a week, and I have been conditioning it daily with Monoi de Tahiti oil, which is my new love. I've used my Jasmine and Ylang Ylang so far, and it is a great conditioner on dry hair. It is also great for your skin, and it smells really good. The Jasmine was a bit strong for me, but the Ylang Ylang was very nice. It's also good for hot oil treatments for your hair. It is essentially scented coconut oil, so if you don't want to spend the money on that, just go to the grocery store and get regular coconut oil, it works just as good.

The Pros:

I got a new hair style, something different.

I shows off my length. My hair now touches the top of my booty. I forget how long my hair is because I see it curly all the time.

My hair still feels soft.I attribute that to the Monoi de Tahiti oil.


The Cons:

It's time consuming to straighten your hair.

There is a possibility of damage.

My hair does not stay bone straight. After a day or two it will start to get a bit poofy and curl, as noted in the picture I took, four days post straightening. It takes away from the length of the 1st day.

You have to wrap your hair at night at my length, the silk pillowcase alone will not work. I use a L.B. Soc and my hair still peaks out the ends.

You have to comb your hair everyday, a quick fluff will not suffice.

With that said, it freaks me out when I comb I get a few strands of hair in it, probably from normal shedding, but it still freaks me out.

When you hair is straight, it isn't as even, because I normally cut it when it is curly and there are different lengths to different curls, so even though it looks all right curly, it isn't the blunt even cut on the ends I normally liked when I wore my hair straight.

To me, it is just more maintenance to maintain and care for straightened hair.

Overall:

If I ever get a maxiglide or some steam rollers, I might do this a bit more often than once a year, as long as there isn't much damage. I will probably continue to stay curly though, as my husband actually misses my curls and prefers them to the straight hair.

Product Review-Kakakiki KombBrush

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I recently purchased a Kakakiki KombBrush. People often rant and rave about the Denman brush, but as I have said before, it scares me.

I tried the KombBrush as a way to get really good detangle beyond finger combing. I used it when my hair was soaking wet. I wouldn't try to use it dry, except to help smooth down edges, but even then, I would use a regular brush for that.

It worked ok once I finger combed my hair, and I could see how it could benefit in clumping, but since I put product in my hair and rubbed my fingers all through it afterwards, it was a moot point. I might try it for clumping later, and post the results to see if I get bigger curls.

The product did not cause any damage to my hair, nor did I lose tons of hair. I do like that if you are running your brush too harsh by your brush bristles will break off, so to not break off your hair.

A good product at a decent price. You can get one here.

Curls By Sisters Smith

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As you guys may be aware, I am a huge fan of Curls By Sisters Smith. They make a good product, and it is reasonably priced. I am not going to talk about the products, but rather do a review on their customer service.

I placed an order a while ago for the Butter Me Up Hair Butter and Quick Fix Spritz. I received the order quickly as per usual, but it was missing a couple of my Butter Me Up Hair Butters. I was a little disappointed, and I emailed the company to inform them of the missing items. Within a day, they replied back, and shipped the items immediately, no questions asked. I was so impressed by this, and I was so happy that their customer service is so on point.

Many times the smaller companies don't have the man power or presence to attend to things so promptly, but they went out of their way to make sure I had a great shopping experience.

I am urging you product junkies out there, to not sleep on Curls By Sisters Smith, they have great products, great prices, and great customer service.

The Baking Soda Deep Conditioner Review

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This week I have been experimental. I decided to try the Baking Soda Deep Conditioning Treatment. This treatment supposedly leaves hair very soft, very moisturized, it is also said to be a nice alternative to texturizers, elongating the curls. It also is supposed to reduce frizz. I am interested in all except texturizing, so I figured it couldn't hurt to try. Baking soda has a ton of different uses, people often use it to wash and clarify their hair. So I figured it wasn't all that bad.

It is quite a simple recipe and can be altered to your tastes.



Baking Soda Deep Conditioner Treatment

1/2 cup Baking Soda
1 cup favorite Conditioner
1 tablespoon of oil (coconut, jojoba, olive, castor, whatever your favorite is). This ingredient is optional

You basically mix all the ingredients together and you are done. Well not really, you really have to keep mixing it because the baking soda will settle to the bottom of the bowl if left alone for a while.

This is what my mixture looked like.




To apply, first wash and detangle your hair. This is my hair detangled, towel dried, but still wet.




Then apply the mix as if you would a perm. I divided my hair into four sections and applied a little at a time to each section. I will say when I initially put it on, I felt a slight tingle, but it wasn't uncomfortable and went away after a few minutes.



Put your hair in a shower cap or plastic baggy for about an hour up to two hours, whatever you are comfortable with.Some folks have left this in all night, I am not that brave. I did an hour and twenty minutes. Some people keep this stuff in their hair for five hours at a time, apparently this relaxes the curl better, I don't want to relax my curls, I just want less frizz. Apparently to texturize, you should apply it dry. The directions can be found here.

Then I rinsed it out, doing another co-wash and then styled as usual.

I want to note when I applied the mixture to my hair, I did feel it made it easy to run my fingers through out, so I can see how it would be a good detangler. After washing out the mixture, my hair was much easier to detangle, and my curls look more elongated than usual while wet. While dry, my curls didn't look anymore elongated than usual, but my hair looked flat, less fluffy, I hope this is just 1st day hair and will fluff out when I sleep on it for awesome 2nd day hair. I will say I see less frizz.My hair doesn't feel softer, just feels like the norm. I also noticed my scalp was squeaky clean.

This is my hair dry.



Some people claim that the product smells like perm/relaxer, I did not find that to be the case, it smelled like my conditioner I used. I did notice right after I rinsed it out, my hair felt kind of reminiscent of hair after perm being rinsed out in terms of the "slick" feel, but that only lasted a minute in the shower, and once it was all rinsed out my hair felt normal.

This is 3rd day hair:

Brown Sugar Scrub

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I was getting a bad case of build-up on my scalp, due to less co-washing on my part, and decided I needed to do something to get rid of all that ickiness. I then went back to my tried and true Curly Girl
book, and of course there was a solution in there. The Brown Sugar Scrub. It is essentially mixing brown sugar and your favorite conditioner together to massage your scalp. I guess I will be more precise and tell you how I tweek this.

Brown Sugar Scrub:

2 tablespoons conditioner
1 tablespoon brown sugar

When hair is wet, mix together and massage your scalp with it. Rinse out with water.

I don't mix my conditioner together with the brown sugar, I find it dissolves the brown sugar too much. I apply the conditioner 1st, massage my scalp, and then add the brown sugar and massage that, and then rinse out.

It works wonders to get rid of buildup, and it is a fairly easy, cheap concoction to make.

Again Curly Girl To the rescue!!!!

Now I plan to try this Brown Sugar Vanilla Body Scrub recipe for my body.

Is Natural Hair Mainstreaming?

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The buzz of late is all about Tyra Banks. Tyra has decided to get rid of the weave and wigs. We've seen Tyra natural before. Anytime black or black natural hair is discussed, she breaks out the cornrows. It is the default natural style of Tyra. Now she didn't say she was going relaxer free, but weave free. Let's not get too ethnic!!!!! It has me thinking though, has embracing natural hair mainstreamed. Michelle Obama is supposedly perm free. Solange had people thinking she was crazy all because she did a big chop (which I thought was darling). Are celebrities embracing natural or weaveless hair now? Will people follow the celebrities in the realm of being wig and weave free? Or are folks like Tyra upset that they get talked about when they do shows on natural hair as they sit there with blonde weave in their hair telling folks to embrace themselves?

One post I STILL get comments on is this one. Now all I said, in my mind is it seems that black women beauty standards seem to embrace the European ideal. Why we feel the need to want blue or grey eyes, or blonde hair, or long flowing straight weave sometimes is questionable to me. People took that to mean I hate all people with weaves, weaves are the devil, and black women with long hair are now jealous and upset other black women can have long hair now.

I do wonder if these same people are the ones who used to ask me when I was going to get my "hair done" when I first went natural, or when I pressed it told me, someone must have "talked some sense into me"?