Thursday, October 4, 2012

HOTD: Twists

     Hello Everyone! It's been 3months since my last blog post.  Where have I been?  Well I've gotten sidetracked with pursuing makeup artistry.  Things are going well with that and I've been very busy.  I've been so busy that I actually forgot my 1 year Anniversary post Big Chop on Sept. 30th, 2012. Maybe it was because I was doing a photo shoot that day. Well it's never too late....HAPPY 1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY TO ME! 

      This has been a great year of discovery while on my journey.  The first thing I've learned is that my hair grows very fast.  Thank goodness for growth.  The next thing I've learned is that it is possible to come out of product junkieism....LOL!  There comes a time when you discover which products work the best for your hair and you stick with them for a while. It's not bad to try new things but I will always have my go-to products.  My staples right now consist of WEN by Chaz Dean Cleansing Conditioner, Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque as my deep conditioner (I've finally run out of Bee Mine Deep Conditioner), and Kinky Curly Curling Custard  & Knot Today for wash and go styles.  When I want a conditioner only wash and go I use Tresemme Naturals Conditioner as my styler.  

     Today I've twisted my hair using Bee Mine Curly Butter and I've pulled most of the twists back into a ponytail.  The front twists are kind of pinned to the side. In the spirit of the series Game of Thrones..."Winter is Coming."  I know it is still fall, but from now and through the winter I am challenging myself to wear my hair twisted and pulled back or pinned up. I really want to work on my protective styling and see how this affects my hair growth.  If I need to dress myself up I'll just wear a twist out.  This will allow me to perfect that style as well.  

   Overall I've enjoyed this first year of being natural.  I can't say that it was hard for me.  I can say that most of my days were good hair day.  I haven't felt any sort of frustration with my hair.  Now that I've said all of that, lets hope that my second year is just as easy.  Right now my hair is in that awkward length stage. It's just another hurdle I will get past.  
     Where am I going with this blog?  Well my goal is to probably move it to the Tumblr platform.  If and/or when I do this I will be sure to direct you all accordingly.  Until then...

Thanks for reading my blog and please subscribe :)

Peace & Blessings....


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

HOTD: No more gray....for now....

Since my big chop last September my gray hair had become more and more noticeable.  For the longest time I've wanted to color my hair but I didn't want to put any more chemicals in my hair.  I was afraid of possible color damage, excess dryness, and a possible change in my curl pattern.  Well, none of these fears manifested. I used Clairol Textures & Tones Permanent Moisture-Rich Hair Color in Dark Brown 2N.  This hair color does not contain ammonia.  I did research and compared products before making my choice.  Clairol's Textures and Tones consistently had good reviews and was tested by Consumer Reports.  Overall I had good results with this product.  It covered all of my gray hair.  The dark brown is very rich and dark. Today my hair does not feel dry and it is very soft.  I am pleased!

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and please subscribe :)

Peace & Blessings....



Thursday, June 28, 2012


Happy Thursday!  I've probably already mentioned in a previous post that Thursday is my favorite day of the week.  Anyway....let me get to the point of this post.....Cleansing

As you can see from a lot of the pictures I post of my natural hair journey, I wear makeup often.  Unless you are close to me and my family you will rarely see me without my "face" on.  Makeup is something that I enjoy wearing and applying on others.  I have VERY OILY skin and it is prone to acne if I do not properly cleanse it. Just like I enjoy putting on the makeup, I enjoy cleansing it. I think it is the most important step (the FIRST and the LAST step). 

Cleansing the skin is fairly easy.  The products and technique I use may not be right for everyone; you have to use what works well for your skin type and sensitivity level.

1.)  After a long day with my "face"on I begin my cleansing regime by removing as much makeup as I can with a makeup removing facial wipe.  I don't have a particular brand I'm drawn to but baby wipes can do the trick as well.

2.)   Second, I remove as much eye makeup as I can.  For hard stubborn waterproof eyeliner and mascara I find using good ole' Vaseline works just as well or better than an eye makeup remover.  Don't get me wrong, I have eye makeup remover as well.  What you use is your personal preference. I normally wipe the Vaseline off using the same facial wipe I used to wipe off my foundation.

3.) Next, I use my cleanser.  I cleanse my face using my hands and Philosophy's Purity.  You can use a cleanser that works well for you.  I findPurity is excellent for removing makeup.  When I am out of Purity I use Neutrogena®Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Foaming Scrub. After I rinse my initial cleanser off with water, I go back and cleanse my face again using the Clarisonic. The Clarisonic pulls more dirt and makeup from deep within your pores.  The Clarisonic is what dramatically cleared up my skin and minimized the amount of breakouts I would have.

4.) After cleansing I use Witch Hazel as my toner.  This is just another measure to help pull traces of makeup out of my pores and gently reduces the size of my pores. It also helps remove access oil.

5.  Finally, it is time to moisturize.  Remember, I have VERY OILY skin so I do not moisturize regularly.  Within 20 minutes my face will look like a disco ball even without the use of a moisturizer.  If you have dry, normal, or combination skin I suggest to moisturize based on your skins needs.  Although I do not use a moisturizer regularly I do use an eye cream at night.

My particular regimen may not be right/perfect to you but what I want you to get out of this post is to WASH YOUR MAKEUP OFF EVERY NIGHT. DO NOT SLEEP WITH MAKEUP ON. Once I consistently followed this simple rule I developed fewer breakouts.  For me, it wasn't the makeup that was breaking me out.  It was not properly cleansing my skin that lead to breakouts. 

As always, what works for me may not work for you.  I do hope that what I share does help someone.  

Thanks for taking time to read my blog and please subscribe :)
Peace & Blessings....

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Latest....

Hi Everyone!  I'm sure you are wondering where I've been.  The answer is nowhere.  But, I've been embarking on another one of my passions.  Makeup!  What better way to set off your look then by putting on a great face.  On Sunday, June 10th I was given an opportunity to participate in a photo shoot for the CinciNatural Hair Group and their upcoming magazine.  This was an awesome experience.  The photographer is Gregory Cooper Spencer of Cooper Spencer Images.  It was great to be able to bring two loves together....natural hair and makeup artistry.  I had the opportunity to meet so many nice people with great talents.  I want to shout out Lee, Katrelle TravelingStylist, Alex Spencer, Tequana LastraintuParis Colvin, Shtequina Q Ray, Iam NJ, Michael True Aquarius Jackson, Theron Washington, Jessica Boonz, April & Angel! I enjoyed being in "The Place" with you all.  Also I want to thank Trever Thomas for recommending me for this job. For posts to come, I plan to continue sharing my makeup artistry and hair experiences with you. Below are a couple of behind the scenes pics from the shoot.

Thanks for taking time to read my blog and please subscribe :)
Peace & Blessings....

Monday, May 14, 2012

Today's Hair: Conditioner ONLY Wash-n-Go

Happy Monday Everyone!

I just wanted to show you my conditioner only wash-n-go.  This is actually 3rd day hair.  I did my hair this past Saturday.  All I will say right now is that I'm loving it.  This conditioner only wash-n-go gives me the look of 2nd day hair after using gel (more volume and softer).  I usually like my gel wash-n-gos more after the 2nd and 3rd day. This was my first attempt using conditioner only, so after I've tried it a few more times I will share my regime with you.  

Thanks for reading my blog and please subscribe :)

Peace & Blessings


Monday, April 30, 2012

Natural Empowerment

Good Monday morning!

Well, here is my only blog post for the month of April....I have only three words "Do Better Rachel."  

A couple of weeks ago I met a nice young lady in passing, and we both admired each others' hair.  During our conversation we talked about how going natural has increased our self-confidence and feelings of the like. Then she asked me, can going natural automatically increase a young ladies self-confidence/self-esteem?  In my opinion, the answer is "NO."  What you get out of being natural is relative to each individual.  I believe that going natural will not make you be or feel something that you are not or already possess.  If a young lady or man is suffering from low self-esteem, going natural is not going to automatically boost their self-esteem. I think that in some cases it could make the low self-esteem worse.  I say this because making the decision to got natural goes against the grain of what society has labeled as beautiful.  To have long straight hair is having good hair and to have short kinky hair is having bad hair.  Thankfully, this is becoming less of the case, but still, going natural is a decision that shouldn't be taken lightly. Some people need to be mentally prepared for it because not everyone is accepting of natural kinky-curly hair.  I believe that if you already have a decent amount of high self-esteem/ self-confidence and have made the decision to go natural then you are have probably said to yourself that this is what you were going to do and you don't really care what anyone else thinks about it.  You are making this decision for YOURSELF. With that decision may come increased confidence, increased since of self, and freedom. For example, girlfriend of mine who went natural shortly after I did said that going natural has given her more knowledge about how to take care of herself.  Learning to take care of her hair has contributed to taking better care of her skin and watching her diet. 

So in the end I can say that going natural has ADDED to my self-confidence that I already possessed.  What has going natural done for you?  Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.  

Thanks for taking time to read my blog and please subscribe :)

Peace & Blessings....


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Today's Hair: 4th Day Hair via Hair Rules

Happy Thursday!  FYI....Thursdays are my favorite day of the week because I know tomorrow is Friday. Well, I don't have too much to say today.  I just wanted to show you how my hair has evolved into an afro after the 4th day via Hair Rules.  It pretty much started out similar to my KCCC look using the shingling method.  You can see that look on my previous blog post. Unlike the staying power of KCCC my hair begins to blossom out into an afro on day 2 and 3 using Hair Rules Kinky Curling Cream.  I am not adverse to my afro.  I like it and that's all that really matters.  This morning I said to my Mom, "How do you like my afro?"  She said, "Just spray some water on it."  I said, "I already did that." She said, " Oh, you did! You're done?"  All I could do then was walk out of the room.  It was funny to me, but later I added a little oil to my hair and slicked back my edges.  When I begin adding oils to my hair I know it is time to wash my hair because I am losing moisture.  All I need now is for this fro to hold up until wash day on Sunday.  

Another FYI:  For those who really know me, they know I like to shop on television via ShopNBC, QVC, or HSN. Last night I received an email from Hair Rules saying that they will be selling their products on ShopNBC.  This is a big, Wow!  You can get great deals on products you love from the shopping networks.  I doubt I will be purchasing much from them on this visit because I've already purchased the whole Kinky line. If they stick with ShopNBC I will be happy to make my future purchases there.  

I know this was supposed to be short. With that said...ENJOY YOUR DAY!

Thanks for reading my blog and please subscribe.

Peace & Blessings.....


Monday, March 19, 2012

Today's Hair via KCCC & Knot Today

Happy Monday!

Today I wanted to show you my hair using Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave-in Conditioner and Kinky Curly Curling Custard (KCCC). This weekend I watched a newly uploaded YouTube video by Miss Jessie's curlsgolore. This video showed you how to apply Miss Jessie's Curly Pudding using the shingling method The video inspired me to use this method of shingling using Kinky Curly Knot Today and KCCC.  Normally I rake the KCCC into small sections of my hair while smoothing with my fingers.  If you watch the video this shingling method uses a small tooth comb and your fingers to smooth. The sections were also smaller than what I normally have.  Using this shingling method allows the hair to clump together more and decreases "wild" strands.  I always complain that in the midst of all my coils I always have strands that look almost straight and stick out every which way.  Using this method has eliminated that problem for me. I did not scrunch out the crunch this morning with the Kinky Curly Gloss Pomade because my hair was still a bit damp.  I plan on doing that this evening.  Also, I did not stretch out my curls with blasts from a blow dryer.  I try to avoid heat where all possible.  I  already know that I will get my full weeks hair dos with this style.  This style will allow me to slowly separate the curls day by day for a fuller look as the week progresses.  

KC Knot Today & KCCC Shingling Method

Thanks for reading my blog and please subscribe :)

Peace & Blessings....


Friday, March 9, 2012

Today's Hair via Hair Rules

Happy Friday!  I thought I would write this quick post to show you my hair after using the Hair Rules line.  Yes, the whole line : Daily Cleansing Cream, Quench Conditioner, Nourishment Leave In Conditioner, Kinky Curling Cream, and Hydrating Finishing Cream.  My first impression of these products is that this is something I can work with.  I am not going to give a review now because I need to use it a few more times.  I can say that my curls are defined, soft and have a little more volume. 

The big controversy regarding these products is that the Kinky Curling Cream has mineral oil as the second ingredient and the Hydrating Finishing Cream contains petroleum. I wasn't paying close attention when I purchased the products so now this is what I have to use.  The problem that can occur with using mineral oil and petroleum is dryness. Mineral oil and petroleum can seal in moisture but they also block moisture from penetrating the hair follicle and this in turn can lead to dryness. In trying to be proactive against the drying effects I mixed my coconut oil with the leave in conditioner during application.  My hope was that the coconut oil would impart as much moisture as possible prior to applying the Kinky Curling Cream.  

Today my hair is defined, VERY soft and it doesn't feel greasy.  I usually like my curls a bit crunchy but I am not adverse to a soft curl.  Also my hair does not feel dry and brittle...yet.  I am pleased with the volume.  I feel that this is the 4-5 day hair look  I get after using Kinky-Curly Curling Custard. The problem with my 4-5 days on KCCC is that my hair begins to feel dry.  I am not sure how many days I can get out of this hair. I will stick to my Sunday wash schedule this week so if my hair lasts until Sunday I will be satisfied.  

Thanks for reading my blog and please subscribe :)

Peace & Blessings


Monday, March 5, 2012

One Year Anniversary

Well, it has been one year. No it hasn' just Big Chopped last September!  I'm not celebrating my BC just yet...I am celebrating one year since my last perm.  Yay!  I told my mom last night it felt good not perming my hair.  I'm sure my hair and body is thanking me for it. I've really been enjoying my curls and kinks.  When I do my hair, mainly on Sundays, I absolutely enjoy it.  It's my time to pamper my hair.  I never want to look at doing my hair as a laborious chore.  I know as it gets longer it will take more effort but I still want to enjoy that effort.  

In this first year of no perms I have totally changed the products I use and I've become a product junky and I'm proud of it. I enjoy rotating different products in my regimen.  Today I am expecting a big haul of Hair Rules products...the whole line. I can't wait to try it because I've watched many a YouTube video and saw a lot of good reviews.  Speaking of reviews....a year has given me enough time to share my opinion on many of the products I have used. I am going to create a new "Product Reviews" tab on my blog to make it easier to find these reviews.  

All of this blogging is very new to me and I know I'm not the most consistent blogger out there...LOL! My goal is to get better with consistency and stick to it. I have a bad habit of letting things fall by the wayside. Another goal I have is to one day begin creating YouTube videos.  I mentioned this in my very first blog post and I still haven't done one.  My number one goal is always healthy hair.  Why not hair growth, you say?  Well, I believe that with healthy hair comes hair growth.  I know my hair can grow and with time and PATIENCE it will reach great lengths.  With this said I have a lot to continue to look forward to.  

My normal Wash-n-Go Regimen:

Pre Poo:  Shea Moisture Organic African Black Soap Purification Hair Masque (NEW) 
Shampoo:  Shea Moisture Organic Shea Butter Curl & Shine Shampoo Coconut & Hibiscus
Conditioner:  Shea Moisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner
Deep Conditioner: Shea Moisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Hair Masque
Leave-In Conditioner: Kinky-Curly Knot Today
Sealant:  Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Styler:  Kinky-Curly Curling Custard

As always, thanks for reading my blog and please subscribe :)

Peace & Blessings...


Friday, February 10, 2012

Good Hair, Gond Bad Pt.2

At the end of Good Hair, Gone Bad Pt.1 I said that I would examine and compare the ingredients  in the  Jane Carter's Scalp Nourishing Serum with the other products in my hair arsenal.  Well, I did just that. My findings are not scientific but this is my way of determining what may be the cause of my irritation.  I compiled the ingredients list for 42 products that I have in my hair arsenal.  Forty-two......YES, I know!  When reading ingredients only the first five or six ingredients impact the formula’s effectiveness. With that said, the  ingredients of the Jane Carter's Scalp Nourishing Serum are as follows:

Pure essential oils of: grapefruit, cedarwood, rosemary, ylang ylang, palmarosa, nettle, vitamins A,D,E in a hybrid safflower base. 

The first 6 ingredients are pure essential oils that have been added to a hybrid safflower base which looks to be the main ingredient. "Like other types of oils, safflower oil is used in hair care products (or on its own), to soften, protect and moisturize hair. Safflower oil is used to revive dry, lifeless hair."
Safflower oil is an ingredient found in a number of my products so this leads me to believe that this ingredient is not the cause of my irritation.  Next, I looked for grapefruit and cedarwood oils.  Grapefruit essential oil was listed in only one other product that I have and it was  the 3rd ingredient from the end of the list; a pretty insignificant amount.  The next ingredient, cedarwood, wasn't listed on any other products that I own.  This leads me to believe that this could be a possible cause for my irritation.  Since cedarwood essential oil is new to me a did a quick search to see what facts I could find out about it.



Cedarwood oil benefits the skin by its sedating ability which relieves itching. Its astringent action is great for acne, oily skin, as well as for hair and dandruff. It helps with chest and urinary infections, acts as a general tonic and has a pronounced effect on mucus membranes.It has a calming and soothing effect on the mind and is of great help in conditions associated with anxiety and nervous tension. It is also of value in cases of arthritis and rheumatism.



In high concentration, cedarwood oil may irritate the skin and it should be avoided in pregnancy.

Noting the placement of cedarwood on the ingredients list for the Jane Carter's Scalp Nourishing Serum I will make the unscientific assumption that there is a good amount of this oil in the mixture.  Maybe the amount is too much for my scalp and therefore it irritated my skin.  Always a possibility...

In the end, it is good to note the ingredients in any product you use.  Also, if a product is not working for you stop using it. I've since stopped using this product and my scalp has healed nicely. As I stated in Part 1 of this blog, I am, by no means, telling anyone not to use Jane Carter products.  I am just sharing MY experience. I am sure there are plenty of people who are benefiting from this product and I wish I was one of them.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and please subscribe :)
Peace & Blessings...

Monday, January 23, 2012

Good Hair, Gone Bad Pt. 1

This story begins at the end of a two week coil & coil-out.  I will never wear a style for two weeks again because by Friday, January 13th my hair was really itching.  With that said, Friday night I washed my hair and this began the makings of my first two strand twist-out. I created my twists using Curl Junkie Curl Assurance Smoothing Lotion as my leave-in conditioner and Curl Junkie Hibiscus & Banana Honey Butta as my twisting product. Because it was a long holiday weekend, celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, I decided to wear my twists all weekend.  

Tuesday morning, January 17th, and it's time to go back to work.  I untwisted my hair using Bee Mine Luscious Balanced Cream Moisturizer on the tips of my fingers.  This was my first attempt at a twist-out and I feel it was successful.

My first two strand twist-out

To prepare for second day hair I decided to re-twist my hair that night using Jane Carter's Nourish & Shine.  My second day hair was a success, but I knew I would need more moisture for third day hair because my hair was beginning to feel dry. That night I decided to spritz my hair with water and re-twist using more Jane Carter's Nourish & Shine. I probably used more product than needed because when I untwisted my hair the next morning it was a little bit greasy to the touch.  I also noticed that my scalp was itching in a couple of spots in the back and about to start flaking in the front of my head around my widow's peak. To fix this uncomfortable situation I put drops of Jane Carter's Scalp Nourishing serum on my itchy areas.  Not even 10 minutes later my scalp became extremely irritated.  The area around my widows peak was excessively flaking, turned red, and was about to get bumpy.  To help soothe the itch I put some old-fashioned African Pride Caster & Mink Oil with Shea Butter on my scalp along with Carol's Daughter Mimosa Hair Honey. It helped a little because I didn't have enough time to wash out my hair before work. 

Third day hair gone bad

My day three hair looked good but it felt terrible.  My good hair had really gone bad.  I endured the itch throughout the day but that night I couldn't wash my hair fast enough.  I washed my hair using Shea Moisture Organic Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo and conditioned with Shea Moisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner.  I deep conditioned my hair with Shea Moisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Hair Masque. After my wash, condition, and deep treat my scalp felt 100% better.  I used Coconut Oil as my sealant and completed my wash-n-go with Kinky-Curly Knot Today and Kinky-Curly Curling Custard.

Relief!!! wash-n-go

On Friday, January 20th, I was in love with my hair again.  It felt so much better.  Obviously, there is something in the Jane Carter products that caused my irritation and I will no longer use them. This is a true example of what works for one person may not work for another. By writing this blog I am, by no means, telling anyone not to use Jane Carter products.  I am just sharing MY experience.  I am going to closely examine  and compare the ingredients in the Jane Carter products with the other products in my hair arsenal.  I think this will help me pinpoint which ingredient or ingredients caused my irritation.  I will come back with Part 2 of this blog and let you know what I've discovered.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and please subscribe :)

Peace & Blessings...


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Product Junkieism

Are you a product junkie?  Is that necessarily a bad thing?  I ask because I've often heard people in the natural community mention the term product junkie and how either they are one and/or don't want to be one.  I've even heard it mentioned in a negative tone as if it were  a real problem.  Any answer given to this question would be relative but I thought I would share my opinion with you.

So what is the definition of a product junkie?  Yes, it sounds obvious but to be certain I took the liberty of looking it up and breaking it down.  Wikipedia says a junkie is "a hyperbolic expression for a person with a particularly strong enthusiasm for some activity."  Basically it is saying someone has an exaggerated, intense enjoyment, interest or approval for something (in our case: hair products).  I assume that when we hear the term "junkie" people tend to think about drug addicts which adds to the negative stigma of the term.  Junkies usually go wrong when they sacrafice their responsibilities to fulfill their habit.  Ok, I know I just went deep but I would like you to know that I don't believe product junkieism is anywhere near that serious or deep.  Junkieism!?...Ok, I would like to think that I made that up...LOL!

Rece. A PJ's new finds. 26 june 2011.<>

So what makes a person a "real" product junkie?  Is a product junkie that person who has a lot of different products because they like to try new things and/or rotate their products?  Is it a person who likes one particular product or product line and wants extras stored in their bathroom closet because they don't want to run out?  I still have a hard time answering that question.  I don't believe that we can fairly determine another person's wants or needs for the products they purchase.  I have nothing against the two scenarios I've stated above and in my opinion I would not label that product junkieism.  I only know my finances and would say that purchasing hair products instead of paying rent, mortgage, car note, gas/electric, etc... is the characteristic of a product junkie.  I would not neglect my responsibilities and I would hope other people wouldn't either. (Not taking care of your responsibilites is another extreme example to parallel the drug addict example above and it is not really what I'm focusing on.)

I look at a person who buys a lot of hair products the same way as I look at the person who buys a lot of shoes, a lot of purses, or clothes etc.  This is something that person likes and there is nothing wrong with it.  There are a lot of products on the market today and I know we can't have them all and not all of them work best for us.  Unlike shoes and clothes, in most cases you cannot try on hair products to see if they work well for your hair before you purchase them.  Therefore, many people are left with a lot of unused products in their cabinets which can become wasteful and cause money to go down the drain.  My suggestion to this ,as if you asked, is to pass it on to someone who might like it (donate, gift it, sell it at a discounted price!). This makes room for your next products that hopefully work better.  It's fun to try and buy new things.  My hair journey includes growth, maintenance, and experimentation.  I love experimenting with my hair products and styles.  Well, my styles are still kind of limited but I'm looking forward to my days beyond the TWA (teeny weeny afro).  In some people's eyes I may be considered a product junkie, but I will not claim the label for myself.  I hope that we don't fall into the trend of labeling individuals.  Let me wrap this up by you and I will always do me.

Thanks for reading my blog and please subscribe :)

Peace & Blessings...Happy Belated New Year!