Curls and Lipstick

My Curly Girly Life

Archive for the month “August, 2012”

These Curls are Mine!?!

It took me FOREVER to learn to finagle my natural hair. While getting used to having curly hair, after having straight hair all my life, I felt that anything I did would mess up my curls. It was like I had a curl complex. Maybe because every time I got my permed hair curled it never lasted for more than a day between me being a head sweater (not like the clothing “sweater” people, like sweat sweat — perspiration geez) and me not knowing how to wrap my hair up properly at night to preserve those curls. It never stayed looking good so it was a waste and a hassle. So when I started on my curly hair journey, every time I did things like sleeping, cowashing, spraying it with water, etc., it gave me a slight anxiety (can you have “a slight anxiety”?) and a voice in my head always said “they’re not going to coming back… Watch!” or “you ruined them!”.  Oh and you should have seen me when I decided to incorporated combs back into my regimen after being an exclusive finger detangler; I would handle my hair like stemware because I didn’t want my curls to fall! Talk about having a permed mindset!

I had to get out of that fast. Even after my curls bounced back repeatedly (right before my eyes), day after day, after washing and going or reviving a WNG from severe bedhead by spraying with some water, I still wasn’t convinced. I had to literally sit down and make myself realize that this was how my hair is now. This is its natural state and nothing short of using chemicals or mistreating it, like withholding moisture or not managing split ends, could prevent it from not curling. When I finally got that through my thick skull (it is so hard to UNLEARN!), my hair and I made a deal; if I did my part and gave it what it needed everyday (moisture and creamy nutrient-rich leave ins), then it would continue to show out!

I can do that!

Did you walk on eggshells while manipulating your newly natural doo, too?

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Little Brother’s Brown Sugar Birthday Cupcakes with a Peanut Butter Buttercream

Hey!

I have been getting it in at the gym this week. I wish I can say it’s because I’ve been naturally motivated and that’s just how I do, but I would be lying. I have been off my gym game for a couple of week now… until I ate (an untold amount) of delicious cupcakes that I made for my brother’s 20th birthday. The guilt swelled (or maybe it was my belly) in me with every fluffy sweet bite of these yummy terrible things.

Here are some pics of the end result! They didn’t last long!

I got the recipe from HowSweetEats.com.

Brown Sugar Cupcakes (makes 12 cupcakes)

1 cup loosely packed brown sugar

1 large egg

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt, stirring to mix. Set aside. Line a cupcake tin with liners.

In a large bowl, whisk brown sugar and egg until smooth. Add in vanilla extract and milk, again mixing until combined. Slowly pour in melted butter, continuing to whisk. Add in the flour, soda and salt, mixing with a large spoon until batter is smooth.

Using a 1/4 cup measure, add batter to liners. Bake for 16-19 minutes, or until tops are puffy and golden, and don’t jiggle when touched. Let cool completely.

Peanut Butter Brown Sugar Frosting

6 ounces cold cream cheese

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1 cup loosely packed brown sugar

1 cup powdered sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

raw turbinado sugar for topping, if desired

Add cream cheese to the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until smooth, then add peanut butter and vanilla extract, mixing until combined. Add in brown and powdered sugars gradually, with the mixture on low speed. Once everything has been added, turn to medium-high speed and mix for 4-5 minutes, occasionally scraping down the sides. If you’d like the frosting a bit sturdier, add additional powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time, mixing like before. Frost cupcakes!

I try not to indulge my sweet tooth too often, but I just had to give this recipe a whirl and cook up something with a little love for my brother’s big day. This was my first time making cupcakes and I was overwhelmed at first, but I’m glad I tried because it was super easy and super delicious! He loved them! I hope you try them and enjoy them, too!

Hair Regimen **PRODUCTS UPDATED**

*****Bold and in parenthesis notes reason for change*****

Mission: Locate products that give optimal results.

Optimal Results: MOISTURIZED hair!

•••Please consider my hair’s attributes when reading my regimen and products I use•••

♥*´`*•.¸ Current Arsenal ¸.•*´`*♥

(I try to use products with as many natural ingredients as possible!)

Shampoo

  • Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Shampoo

Deep Conditioner (DC)

  • Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Moisturizing Conditioner + EVOO
  • Curl Junkie Curl Rehab (haven’t tried as a DC yet, only as LI)
  • Curl Junkie Repair Me! (protein conditioner/treatment – unopened as of now)

CoWash Conditioners – Rinse Out (RI)

  • Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner
  • VO5 Kiwi Lime Squeeze Conditioner (just haven’t used it in a while)
  • Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Conditioner (too creamy to ‘wash’ with)
  • Curl Junkie Daily Fix (when there’s a bad product reaction, i.e. whiteness)
  • Curl Junkie Beauticurls Argan and Olive Oil Daily Conditioner (moved from both LI and RI to RI only)

Leave In Conditioners/Creams/Milks/Etc (LI)

  • Darcy’s Botanicals Pumpkin Seed Curl Moisturizing Conditioner
  • Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl and Style Milk
  • Darcy’s Botanicals Cocoa Bean Curl Smoothing Cream
  • Darcy’s Botanicals Pumkin Kernel Hydrating Milk (added — forgot to put on list initially)
  • Darcy’s Botanicals Shea Butter Curl Moisturizing Cream (never used it on my hair; had only a sample so I used it as hand lotion :-/) 
  • Curl Junkie Curl Rehab
  • Oyin’s Hair Dew

Styling Gels/Puddings/Custards

  • Kiss My Face Upper Management Gel
  • L’Oreal Paris EverStyle Alcohol-Free Curl-Defining Gel (Too many humectants for Florida dews — frizz central!)

Spritzes for Refreshing a Wash and Go

  • High Quality H2O
  • Shea Moisture Hold and Shine Moisture Mist
Oil/Sealants
  • Pure Jojoba Oil (used only for the occasional scalp massage)
  • Oyin’s Burnt Sugar Pomade (added – used to seal my edges)

Ok. So I’m product obsessed. Judge me.

♥*´`*•.¸ Current Everyday Wash and Go Regimen ¸.•*´`*♥

(I redo my hair almost daily using the following technique while in the shower)

  1. Cowash with a RO.
  2. Divide my hair into 4-6 sections and clip up.
  3. Undo one section.
  4. Finger detangle, rinse out RO, apply a LI conditioner/cream/milk-of-the-moment.
  5. Apply a styler like a gel/pudding/custard-of-the-moment.
  6. Clip section back up.
  7. Repeat on all the sections.
  8. Get out the shower, unclip all sections, and shake it out!
  9. Let it air dry.
  10. I DON’T TOUCH UNTIL AFTER IT DRIES!

Wash, Deep Condition, and Detangle Day (every other week):

  1. Wash with a sulfate-free shampoo.
  2. Apply deep conditioner.
  3. Detangle with wide tooth comb with deep conditioner distributed in hair.
  4. Rinse.
  5. Follow the regular routine, starting with the leave in.

Spacey Edges

I have spacey edges on the left side of my head. I came to realize this by watching YouTube videos and seeing the great concern about protecting edges. I start looking at mine and low and behold, the left side looks kind of sketchy.

I analyzed my routine and traced it back to when I was permed. I thinks it’s from decades of brushing against the grain when wrapping my hair at night (you can read all about it in my hair info and challenges post). When it was permed, my edges just looked like I had a lot of “baby hair” and I never notice that maybe it was just… umm… thin. But now that I’m natural, these baby hairs curl up and reveal some spacey-ness.

So I’ve decided to make a challenge out of it and attempt to thicken them up and/or sprout some new hairs. Here are the interventions I putting into place;

  1. Moisturize my edges with water both day and night. I wash and go almost everyday, so I got the day moisturizing down. At night, I’ll lightly spritz my edges with water.
  2. Directly seal my edges after moisturizing. I say directly because I call myself indirectly sealing my hair using leave-in that are pretty heavily laden with oils. Now, I will put “real” oil on my edges, after moisturizing.
  3. No pull back styles. This isn’t hard because I have a TWA! I must admit though, I have pinned my sides up on a couple of occasions using those little Goodie combs making a slight mohawk. It’s not an everyday style so I can easily, but sadly, give that up.

More on the sealing of my edges. I’m choosing to use Oyin Burnt Sugar Pomade as the sealer. This pomade has stellar ingredients! The top ingred is castor oil. Time and time again praises have been shouted across Natural Nation about the growth obtained when using this oil.

Note: I’m not one to believe in a magical miracle growth agent/ingredient. Hair retains length when it has everything it needs to thrive and is handled with care. I believe that castor oil must be great at keeping moisture locked in and in return makes it look like you’ve had great growth results. So since it has these great claims tied to it, i thought this would be the perfect pomade to use.

Also, I like this pomade’s thickness. I think it will guard against any potential damage caused by the band of my bonnet rubbing against my edges all night. I don’t like that it’s elastic and could catch a hair or two, pulling them out as it stretches and relaxes. I need something that couldn’t possibly be soaked up by the bonnet and creates a physical barrier between the bonnet and my edges. I was debating about using regular jojoba oil, but I think it’s much too light. I think this pomade fits the bill.

Look out for updated pictures about every two weeks… This should be good!

**** UPDATE 8/16/12****

It’s been two weeks and wash day has come back around. I have been about 93% compliant with sealing my edges day and night. Here is an updated picture taken today;

I see one difference instantly — the very edge of my edges (where my face ends and my hair begins) looks darker, as in more filled in. Though the hair is not long, there’s less skin showing. Maybe I’m sprouting some new hairs? What do you think? Hair grows about 1/2 inch per month and it’s been two weeks, so it could have theoretically grown 1/4 inch. Haha… What’s 1/4 inch? Peach fuzz?! I guess peach fuzz turns into a beard eventually…

That’s all I see. Do you notice any changes?

I’ll update again in two weeks. This is going to be a long process. It’s cool though, I like watching water boil.

P.S. The smell of the Burnt Sugar Pomade is getting old!

**** UPDATE 8/30/12****

Ok, so another two weeks has lapse and it’s ‘poo day again! I’ve been less compliant than last time; I’ve been slipping on sealing in the AM after washing-and-going (I’ve been running late!), but I’ve been diligent on rewetting my edges and sealing them every night. Here’s an updated pic;The lighting is different, but it looks like it’s making progress, huh? I wish my hand wasn’t in the way so you can see that farther back it’s filling in also. According to Natural Hair Nation (YouTube), I should have grown a full 1/2 inch by now! Hmmm… I don’t know about all that, but it’s definitely getting less “spacey” and that good enough for me.

I still haven’t figured out, though, if it’s the castor oil by itself in the Oyin Burnt Sugar Pomade that’s helping my edges retain growth or if it’s the combination of ingredients that’s effective. I think this is good time to try out Castor Oil by itself and see if all the hype is true since I’m smack-dab in the middle of a grow out challenge. Granted: Castor oil is the number one ingredient in the pomade, but the smell of it is killing me slowly, day by day. Can you get Castor Oil on the ground? I will def pick some up if I run across it while I’m out and about.

The challenge continues… See you in a couple of weeks!

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