Struggle Bus Naturals Post- Curl pattern or nah?

Hello my fellow Struggle Bus Naturals.

So hey…..hey boo.

A few weeks ago yours truly had a wee bit of a hair meltdown. We all have them. Whether it is a setback an oops etc. My last one you can read about here, my not about that braid life hella fail. 

Ahem.

SO what had happened was I feel victim to following too many other naturals. I know. Y’all. I know.

So with my hair getting longer and it being healthy as hell and beautiful I’ve been wanting to do some styles between wigs. I’ve looked at braid out, twist out, wash n go tutorials galore and had come to the conclusion that somehow I had damaged my hair and broken my curl pattern.

I have been misunderstanding my curls.

This is what my hair looks like  freshly washed and deep conditioned.

wethair

[image description: brown faced author, with half of their face visible and a look at crinkly black hair]

Okay so that is just what she is. My hair has a mix of just kinky hair and wee tiny coily curls. The ends of my hair will do lil ringlets when clumped but, when left alone this is what happens. Now here is where I shouldn’t have believed my eyes. When my hair was shorter and also virgin, my hair had a bit more round type curls. But only when wet. As my hair has gotten healthier it has gotten thicker and my actual texture is very much a mix of 4c/zish.

A lot of the natural hair folks I was watching, have looser curls. I do follow around a good number of type 4 folks but, I did not parse that most of them are wearing/doing styles with their hair stretched.

DING DING stretched.

Stretched.

Whoa.

So the meltdown was in my air dried hair having no coils or juicy curls. Not manipulated my hair when dry is crinkly and kinky. Beautiful. Full and bouncy. Leonine.

I don’t have a good pic but take my word for it.

Y’all, shit got real. I was moisturizing and shit and was teary. I thought I needed to big chop again and I worked SO HARD to nip away damage from an intense color I had, I spend so much time loving my fro and y’all….

Luckily I learned from the last time I did that shit and I did not. I did my LOC method, braided and did some research.

Turns out, my hair is fine.

I also figured out that my hair is medium porosity.

What I’ve figured out is that my method of just really paying attention to how my hair feels keeps it in the best condition. The one thing I think I’ve been doing not quite right is not detangling well enough. With my medium porosity hair that is slightly protein sensitive, it stays well hydrated if I do the FULL LOC method on wash day then mid week or so I spritz my hair with my Oyin Juices and Berries leave in. If I need to detangle I use a more intense leave in.

I need slip because my kinks like to cuddle and that has led to me having some epic knots and y’all, I had a period of only finger detangling and that is not the business. That was also part of the problem with my fail braids. I hadn’t detangled with tools and it was a mess.

So lately on wash day if I’m doing the full prepoo, shampoo (double cleanse) and deep condition I will start the detaingling while I do my prepoo. That is when I finger detangle. This seems really extra but when you’re already prone to terrible migraines AND you are absurdly tender headed, it works. One problem with being really tender headed is that my scalp starts to get sore and I don’t want to detangle anymore. So I stopped doing it all in one go.

After that, I do a bit more while cleansing. With my fingers. Then after I DC I detangle the most under my shower. Any knots remaining I use a denman and I twist or braid each section, and I use a bit of tension to stretch my roots.

Since I’ve been doing that my shedding is way down. OH also because I’ve been tea rinsing but I’ll talk more about that later.

My breakage is also super down.

SO the lesson here my fellow struggle bus loves is as always, sometimes you cannot take the word of anybody except your own.

Now my loves. Next Struggle Bus post will likely be a lil length check after my next trim and straighten. I’m HYPE to straighten my hair I haven’t done so in like two years.

Until then I love y’all!!

2017 for the Struggle Bus Natural.

About the last one for the year y’alls.

I’m gonna look at hair stuff.

SOoooo y’all.

I had intended to make this big dramatic post, patting myself on the back and twerking in joy because I found a braid extension that doesn’t involve cornrows and that I can do. If you are interested see here. If you want to learn how to do cornrowless crochet braids of any type, seriously sub to Jazz Nicole and learn. Her videos are easy to follow and even I COULD DO IT.

So I practiced. And Sunday I got started.

First thing what had happened was-

I had some MAJOR knots down at my goddamn scalp. I could feel them. Getting them out was traumatic. Because I’ve been mainly finger and wide tooth comb detangling, I’ve avoided a lot of breakage buuuuuuuuuuuuut them little evil ass gremlin knots slipped through the big comb and I damn well know that gliding my fingers from scalp to ends is a no go. SO that was, fucking terrible.

Y’all.

Y’ALL.

Because I don’t heat style more than maybe once a year, I had to fight them knots. I was very gentle but about a quarter of the way through, my scalp started to hurt really badly. Just, sore and bruised so I stopped and resumed on Monday. When I was almost in tears because my whole goddamn head was hurting like I got hit, I should have stopped but………..I did not.

Listen to your Auntie babes.

If your body is saying. HEY NO PLS WHAT THE FUCK STOP NO FUCK U BITCH! Listen.

However, after a few maybe scissor happy trims my hair is doing very well. It is juicy moist, soft. Everything I want and I’m retaining length. That is huge for me because I’m going for booty length hair and I can’t be losing my inches to bullshit.

 

 

The evolution of oh noness. First pic, doing the first section. Holding my hair out I was feeling myself. Second photo, me feeling myself HUGELY. My pretty little braids were soft and shiny. Swingy. Third photo, hours later this is the sweaty face of defeat. That was the point I decided to just give up.

So defeat.

But! Good news.

I have added a new layer of understanding about my hair.

I need a hard all the way down to the scalp, tiny ass comb detangling at least once a month.

My current routine is working out very nicely. Here’s how I get down.

I am hardcore protective styling. I’m wearing wigs.

Doing the LOC method regularly works for me. My hair still loves a heavy ass butter/oil PAPOW combo. When I’m on my game, I only really need to moisturize after washing, then two days later. Then again on wash day.

Now let’s talk about some products I like.

For moisturizing. For a non handmade cream I like some few brands.

Asiam Double Butter Cream. Not bad. It is nicely moisturizing, has good stuff in it and is pretty easy to find.

Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream. WITH a caveat. Cantu products are VERY proteiny. Use with caution especially if your hair is protein sensitive. That said, it is a great one to use if your hair is feeling a little weak. Not a lot, a little goes a long way.

Really for me if something has a good base of shea butter AND has oils, it’s gonna be great.

Oils:

Commercially blended oils.

This one does have a silicone but it’s not a biggie for me. My hair isn’t mad about cones. Hot 6 oil. I love to use it as a base for other stuff.

I like to mix in:

Jamaican Black Castor Oil. Always a fave of mine. My scalp LOVES this shit and when I have an itchy spot it does it for me.

I will also drop in a little bit of peppermint or tea tree oil.

For commercial oils, what you want is to make sure they don’t have mineral oil and if you’re sensitive to silicones skip it.

Oils from the grocery store.

Coconut oil. Y’all do not get fooled into paying vast amounts. Go to a hood grocery, buy a jar of coconut oil. I know it isn’t the big thing anymore but my hair loves it.

Other kitchen oils: olive oil is amazing. For me I like my oils a bit heavier but olive is great and no it doesn’t have to be the fanciest most extra virgin olive ever. Plain ole olive oil, just check the label to make sure it is pure olive oil.

If you live where you can get to a brown folks grocery, look for palm oil.I’ve used it as a hot oil treatment and it was GREAT. Also avocado oil but it is expensive where I live so I tend not to use it.

For ultra softening get a good fatty ass oil.

Non eatin oils:

I LOVE light castor oil and buy one or two bottles a year. My brand is NOW Solutions Castor Oil. Y’all. This is so great to have on hand. I use it to boost conditioners, I use it when I have dry scaly spots on my butt. Honestly that one is my one true love. I’ve used others, jojoba etc but my hair likes it heavy.

Leave ins:

I bounce between two primarily.

My first love is the Oyin Juices n Berries. I am a ride or die og Oyin fan. They make my FAVE whipped butter.  I love the light mist and the scent of juices and berries. This is great for me. It does have glycerin in it so I alternate it with another leave in.

Creme of Nature with argan oil – Strength & Shine Leave-In Conditioner. I LOVE this product. It is a bit more of a heavy spray but gives some excellent slip. Really great. I love this one.

Plain water is great. Occasionally I like to do water mixed with a sploot of oil.

The biggest thing I’ve learned this year about my hair is that I really need to just do me. I LOVE learning about the big wide diverse world of natural hair, I just gotta remember not to try EVERY DAMN SHINY THING ON MYSELF.

Also y’all, I had some setbacks didn’t make my goal length and I am so happy. I love my hair so much.

Coming up in 2018 I’m planning on going HARD on the protective styling. What can I say, I want mermaid hair.

There will be more wig reviews, maybe some struggle bus how to basics?

I dunno.

Happy new year y’all.

Why I wear Wigs.

If you want the short version, no I’m not trying to be White. I don’t hate my natural hair and bitch stop asking.

Let’s rewind time and look back at the mid-late 80s. Yours truly was a lil baby potato and I had some long ass hair. I loved my hair. I loved wash days when my Mom would section it off and I’d lay back with her hands in my hair. I loved having my scalp oiled, I loved the occasions I got to go to the Fancy Grown Lady salons and get my hair blown out and curled. I even low key a little bit loved the hot comb.

On occasion, my mom would wash and blow out my hair and I’d get to run around with it out. It was big and soft and fluffy. I remember being outside by myself in late Summer, none of my friends around and I just twirled around in the sunlight feelin myself. My hair is deeply intertwined with some of my earliest experiences of feeling beautiful and magical.

Like so many other things about being a lil Black child, I had no notion of there being a problem until other folks introduced them. When not pressed my hair was too nappy, not good, too big, too much work. I understand now that those comments from Black friends and family are full of internalized White supremacy and I forgive them. Yes, they hurt me very badly but I understand.

When I was a bit older and started relaxing my hair (lots of Black folks know this story) things went bad in my relationship with my hair. I didn’t know how to take care of it and thus it broke off. I got teased about it a lot. Sideways comments about my hair being greasy or being called nappy weeds.

In high school at various times I just cut it all off or wore tree braids. But I really hated my hair. I didn’t really know about extensions other than braids or wigs or weaves. I would look at the hair magazines and Black celebrities and I was just mystified as to why my hair didn’t look like that when I straightened it or whatever. The problem as far as I was concerned and as backed up by the culture I was exposed to was that I just had bad hair.

At some point I stopped trying to care and just did whatever I wanted to my hair. Relax and color the same day, sure! Cut it ALL off? Yup. Burn that shit with a hot comb? YUP.

In the late 90s I discovered wigs and would wear them time to time. I had the seed of the idea about protective styling but back then information on Black hair care was slim. I had some bad salon experiences, shaved my head, bleached it, had purple hair, orange hair, reds, lots of colors.BUT, I didn’t know how to get and keep my hair healthy.

Fast forward more to 2010ish. I discovered Black hair care on the internet. I joined a forum, I started finding videos and everything.

I started to learn and everything. Eventually I went natural and here we are.

So all that history involved, yes, I wear wigs.

I see a lot of things questioning or shaming Black women for wearing wigs or weaves.

So let’s breakdown some whys.

  1. Because she goddamn well wants to. Black women are allowed to make decisions about their hair and how they deal with it and yes, sometimes it is because of some internalized self hatred and sometimes not. Leave them the fuck alone.
  2. Protective styling. For me, once I got my hair healthy I discovered that my super secret for length retention is protective styling.
  3. Because wigs and weaves and braids are fun.

Let me address #3 some more.

I have what you could call a short hair style attention span and I greatly enjoy looking however the fuck I want whenever the fuck I want. I like having different colors, textures, lengths and styles of hair without doing damage to my fluffy wonderful mane.

Additionally, I’m fuckin grown. I pay my own bills and it is really none of anybody’s business about my damn wigs.

Someone not too long ago tried really hard to shame me about my wigs and shit and y’all, I’m not the fuckin one.

The bottom line is that Black women get beat on emotionally, spiritually, sometimes physically regarding anything we do with our hair. From racist corporate “dress codes” that bar anything not “neat”, to having to battle the military to wear cornrows or natural styles, to having to argue with people about how deep issues with hair go.

And for some of us, it is really just hair because Blackness is not the monolith you’re looking for.

At the end I’ll say this.

Before opening up your mouth to fuss at a Black person regarding their hair, don’t. if you want to know what’s up, ask us kindly but if you are not also a Black person don’t expect an answer because we’re not here to do that type of labor for you. There are eight million resources you could read so Google that shit.

 

 

Struggle Bus Naturals- Quick and Dirty new naturals tips.

Hello my gorgeous friends.

Today I want to talk about being newly natural and confused AF.

As usual, there will be amazon affiliate links.

And as with all stuff, this is my experience. Your mileage may vary. Before we get into tips, let’s talk natural hair jargon.

Low/no poo- this is basically when you either use sulfate shampoos rarely or not at all.

Sulfates- OKAY here is a thing. A lot of natural hair related stuff will scare tactic you with the term sulfates. OMG SO DANGEROUS, DESTROYS HAIR..IT IS DISHSOAP. Nope. Sulfate only describes the stuff that makes the thing clean your hair. Or your car or your dishes. The sulfates in your shampoo are not exactly the same as what you use in your dishwasher. Sulfate shampoos are not inherently evil. Some folks have hair that can tolerate being super squeaky cleaned with suds, some don’t.

In the same vein, CHEMICALS. Okay, let’s have a real talk. Chemicals are everything, everything is chemicals. Water is a chemical. Chemicals are not to be inherently feared because they are both natural and man made. That said, anything can cause an adverse reaction and that does not automatically mean a product or ingredient is the devil. You can be allergic to water.

Pro tips about allergens: if you have a nut allergy be very careful using anything with shea butter or coconut oil. How do you know if you’re having a reaction? Redness, intense itching, hives etc. If you have those, or fear a reaction, stop using something. If it is i n your hair, try shampooing with a gentle shampoo and rinsing very very well.

Cowash- As I talked about here, this is using conditioner or a conditioner based cleanser to clean your hair.

L.O.C Method- My personal favorite method of keeping my hair well moisturized and in good condition. It stands for Leave In, Oil and Cream. We’ll talk about that a bit further down.

EVOO- Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Pre-poo- Treating your hair with conditioner or oil prior to washing.

DCing- Deep conditioning. Using a dedicated deep conditioner ideally under a plastic cap or bag, for 15 minutes to however long with or without extra heat.

Big Chop- Cutting off all your relaxed hair.

Transition- Going natural without a big chop.

Tip no. 1) Limit yourself as to how much advice you take in. Including mine. I got very big eyes when I first went natural and in the process wound up spending a lot of money, doing some damage to my hair and ultimately feeling really stressed that my transition to natural wasn’t going like it seemed to go in the hair blogs. So, slow your roll.

2.) Start simple. Whether you big chop or transition start easy. Establish a simple routine for yourself so you have a baseline idea of how to take care of your hair. When I transitioned to natural here’s what I did: I found that my hair responds well to heavier butter based moisturizers. I started using whipped shea butters to moisturize my hair. I discovered that my hair doesn’t really like hard core protein. Basically, take your time and get to know your hair.

This is especially important for those who had relaxed hair for a really long time. Let me tell you a story.

When I was first fully natural I was envisioning myself with a perfectly round little afro (a TWA) just like my Mom had back in the day. I remembered her tightly coiled hair and how shiny it was and yadda yadda.

What I have…is not that on my head. My natural hair is incredibly variously textured. From 4/a/b in spots to almost straight in a few sections. I thought it was damaged so I spent the first few years being natural cutting a lot off of my hair. Then I realized that’s just my hair.

Other things to get to know about your hair when you’re starting out. I wish I’d known about porosity.  Once you figure out what kind of porosity you’re working with, learning what products work for you will be easier.

3.) If you don’t know how, try learning how to cornrow. I personally can’t. I’ve tried and tried and can’t do it. But, I do believe it’s a great skill to have.

4.) Start out with good habits. Don’t detangle on dry hair. Soak it in conditioner or oil or get it wet. Work in sections. Even if your hair is very short, learn to work in sections. Learn to shampoo properly. Concentrate shampoo on your scalp and let the run off cleanse your hair. As a general rule, if you shampoo spend twice the time rinsing than you do sudsing. Don’t use your nails on your scalp use the pads of your fingers.

5.) Figure out a good method to trim your hair. Alternately decide if you want a pro to do it. I use the search and destroy method most often.

Those are my tips for those just starting. Let’s talk some details.

I’ll tell you about my routine with my hair.

I’m a protective styler. Mainly because I’m bad at styling but also because I’m trying to retain every bit of growth I get. My go to protective styles are buns and wigs.

Under my wig, my hair is braided into smallish braids. Not cornrows. I take them down every two weeks to cleanse. One week I will cowash another I will use shampoo. I always pre-treat my hair with coconut oil. After I do that, I wash and deep condition. I fully detangle my hair in the shower and put it into 4 big twists. I let that air dry a bit then I use the LOC method and rebraid my hair.

Every other month or so I deep clean my hair or clarify it. Pro-tip, if your hair isn’t taking moisture like it usually does, try doing this to strip all residue from your scalp and hair.

I will use the OGX Tea Tree and peppermint shampoo first. After I rinse that out, I use the Shea Moisture raw shea moisture retention shampoo. That combo does both my hair and scalp good.

I follow up clarifying with an intense deep conditioner. My favorites are the Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Replenishing Conditioner but only in the packets. The bottle doesn’t seem to work as well for me. I’m also a big fan of the SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Masque. The Shea Moisture products tend to be very very heavily scented so be aware of that. I also love the Dark and Lovely AU Naturale Moisture L O C Deep Conditioning Delight.

Once my hair has air dried a bit I start with my LOC method. I have used Heritage Store Rosewater & Glycerin. I added a bit of light castor oil and it worked very nicely for me. For more slip, I highly recommend My DNA Leave-in Conditioner and Detangler. I used two bottles of this and it worked very nicely both times.

For oil you can use plain oils, probably not castor oil because of how heavy it is. But EVOO, coconut or whatever. I have a super secret about oils. I use commercial oils that have stuff I like in them. Check for hair loving herbs and stuff. My faves are, African Royale Hot Six Hair OilDoo Gro Mega Thick Growth Oil (I don’t know if this accelerates growth but I do love this formula).

For my cream layer I alternate between the Shea Moisture Strengthen Grow & Restore Loc & Braid Butter and a handmade whipped shea butter I picked up on etsy.

Usually because I always sleep with my hair wrapped I generally do this without unbraiding my hair twice a week.

Voila. A quick start guide.

Our next struggle bus naturals beginner thing, we’re going to talk about what to do with products you don’t particularly care for. We’ll talk about dollar store treasures. And talk about keeping your hair care budget manageable.

OH and last tip, stay hydrated. Being well hydrated is just all round good for you!

Struggle Bus Naturals- CoWashing What?

Hello my fellow struggle bus naturals.

Today let’s talk about cowashing.

For those who don’t know cowashing is using a conditioning formula to cleanse your hair. There are a ton on the market and I’d like to talk about how I figured out making it work for me.

When I first went natural cowashing was really just getting on the map in natural hair care. (These will all be amazon affiliate links) I purchased a bottle of Wen conditioning cleanser. .

First thing is that stuff smells amazing. Second up, I have stuff I need to work around.

  1. My scalp can get kind of crapped up. Off and on my scalp gets dry and flaky or just kind of gunky. It always has.
  2. My hair even at that point when it was about 5 inches shorter, is very dense. I need a lot of product to coat all my strands.
  3. That shit is expensive.
  4. My hot water heater is not mighty enough to do ALL my wash in shower.

Now, while the Wen was nice, my hair didn’t feel conditioned enough to me and my scalp still felt a bit dirty.

The brands I liked better were:

The As I Am cowash is really nice. It smells nice, it has a good amount of slip, it left my hair feeling quite nice. However it is in a freaking jar…A JAR. So the first one I got I wound up spilling half of it because my hands were slippery and it went whoopsie. Also again, I ran out of hot water. That said, if your hair isn’t super dry or very dirty this works really nicely and it’s affordable if you’re not using a lot.

The next thing I tried was straight up V05 Moisture Milk. While I do love that product for detangling it did not work on it’s own for a cowash for me. Also, do not buy it from Amazon go to the dollar store.

So I figured out a few things.

My hair thrives on low poo but not no poo. Cowashing is pretty great but I had to get a formula together.

Here is how it goes down for me.

I take a plastic bowl and spoon (usually empty butter containers or whatever) and gather my conditioners.

Yes, plural.

I usually buy conditioners by the liter. First, you want a base conditioner. Use one that’s got some heft and thickness here are the ones I like.

Aussie Moist  is my jam. It has a great amount of slip, is very moisturizing by itself and has a nice bit of body to the formula.

Tresemme Naturals Flawless curls hydrating conditioner. This is another classic for me. It’s not as moisturizing as the Aussie but it’s pretty great. The other great thing is often at drug stores it is on sale for the giant size. I also like this formula and this one as well for my base.

For my base I like it to be about a quarter of my overall mix.

Next up, you’ll want to add something for that extra slip. Aside from the mentioned V05 I will use, Suave Naturals line. My fave is coconut. This is another one I say do not buy this shit from Amazon it’s like a dollar everywhere else. The Organix line is also pretty great. I’ll add some of the Argan oil one for my slip. Basically you want something that’ll help ease your detangling.

Next I add a few squirts of something with some protein. Generically speaking, look for stuff that says anti breakage. I religiously use Garnier Damage eraser. My hair is protein sensitive and I’ve found that using a bit of this in my mix regularly has made a nice difference.

Now you can skip to my cleansing element here or if you are protective styling you can do this.

My hair LOVES friggin oils. I am protective styling so I add oils to my cowash. My number ONE oil to add to anything is light castor oil. It’s light as in color. This one (the bottle is UV protected) I’ve gone through four bottles and it’s lovely. I like a good heavy oil. You can also experiment with lighter oils like EVOO, Jojoba etc.

The other things I add are a few drops of tea tree oil for my scalp. Also a word of caution. Check with your doctor if you’re pregnant before you try essential oils. And, less is more. If you’re using the tingly oils (peppermint, tea tree, rosemary) start with only a few drops. They can all irritate skin and you need to be careful.

The other thing I add (that I hate) is a few spoons of apple cider vinegar. I don’t know why, but it just makes a huge difference in detangling, my hair feels smoother and better moisturized when I’m done. It’s gross and will give your mix a slightly chunky feel, but it works for me.

Now for my super secret.

I add gentle shampoo. Not a whole lot. Only a little bit.

My favorites are: Moisture Retention from Shea Moisture. If my scalp feels itchy, I use the Organix Tea Tree shampoo.

Sometimes I use my liquid African Black soap or even baby shampoo (only a TINY bit of that).

I recommend only adding a small amount of your cleanser to begin with. See how you like it.

I know it sounds like a lot, but, once I figured out how to eyeball the ratios of stuff my hair likes it only takes me about five minutes to mix it up. I priced it out and even with the extra stuff I use, it’s far more economical to use and I’m able to asses what my hair needs batch to batch because I make it right before I use it.

Now the how.

I don’t wet my hair first. I always pre-treat my hair with coconut oil whether I’m cowashing or shampooing. My hair responds super well to coconut oil so it is a staple.

When I get ready to cowash my hair is already sectioned and partially detangled. I saturate each section heavily and focus extra product on my ends. Then I hop into the shower and start with lukewarm water. I get each section wet, use the pads of my fingers on my scalp and once I get a bit of a lather, then I start detangling with my shower comb.

How do you know if you like your mix?

Before you moisturize your hair, let it air dry for a bit when you’re done washing. How does your hair feel? Is it soft? Fluffy? Does your scalp feel dirty? If you’re forgetful jot down your feels and work out what you need more of.

When I need extra moisture I will add a few squirts of the Shea Moisture manuka honey conditioner.

So that’s the secret, or my secret, at least.

Like most things with my natural hair, a lot of the blogs and stuff can only tell you so much. I’ve found that gentle experimentation and sticking with what my hair responds well to has been key.

And to end, a photo of my shrunken up super moist hair post cowash:

shrunkenhair

[image description] Photos of a brown skinned Black person. Their hair is curly. 

This was also just after a pretty intense trim. I had to get rid of some super raggedy ends. Next time I’ll talk about why I love protective styling so much and how I got to the point of figuring out how to get and keep my hair healthy and move towards focusing on length retention.

Struggle Bus Naturals-Twist Wig Review

Hello beautiful people.

Today I’ve got a wig review.

I’m calling it a struggle bus review because this style is SO great, but I can’t braid y’all. I gave myself not great twists one time and regretted it immediately.

Twisted lace front wigs are really great for folks who:

  • Can’t braid
  • Have sensitive edges
  • Are prone to migraines
  • Don’t want to commit the time.

The particular wig I have, I’ve had since last summer and now that it’s a bit beat up looks really great. All of these links are affiliate links. If you don’t like the ones I show, google similar names and you’ll probably find one suited to your needs.

First a photo (not full length, my twist wig is very long, brushes my booty and I’m about 5’3″):

twists

Photo of a brown skinned person with glossy iips, wearing a long twisted hair style.

Okay, first the cons:

Most of the twist style wigs I’ve looked at need some DIY love before wearing. Mine came with all of the twists sewn down and I had to very carefully cut a lot of little stitches.

You’re going to want to be super careful cutting the lace. You don’t want to loosen any of the twists up front.

When I first got it, I also spent some time loosening the twists up just a little. I wanted them to be a bit puffier. I’ve noticed in the last year or so, that some manipulation has made the twists a bit fluffier.

If you like a super customized hairline, this style is not for you.

One other little thing, it’s hard to find these in super amazing colors. But stick around to the end for a solution to that.

Pros.

Super easy to maintain. You can have unicorn long hair, and not spend all your time detangling or whatever. Very slip on and go.

You can do some updo, but I tend to not.

It is SUPER lightweight. Like shocking light. I don’t get any headaches wearing this style of wig.

Not nearly as expensive as going to get twists done every however many weeks.

Easier maintenance of your hair underneath your protective style.

If you want to tighten the twists after a long while of wear, go along and snip any fly aways then lightly steam the wig and twist.

Now let me mention a few other things.

Since I wear mostly inexpensive wigs that have kinda rough lace and I have sensitive edges let me show you my favorite wig accessory.

Milano Collection WiGrip Extra Hold Wig Comfort Band. Y’all. Y’ALL. Y’all know I hate paying retail but I have three of these and they are worth every penny. I have struggled with my edges and unfortunately last year I had a bout of pretty bad anxiety and wound up with a bald spot. If you’ve worn wigs a lot you know the combs/clips can be murder on your edges. This lil thing helps. Basically you put on  your wig cap over this and that. You can tuck the combs right between the cap and the band.  Also it can help mitigate any friction or irritation with the synthetic lace.

Also, if you find wigs a bit too big, this can help with fit.

Now how about some wigs?

The closest to (I may have the version from last season) what I have is this one.  My piece is also heat safe and a few times I wore the ends curled.

If you prefer braids this style is super pretty. Although I would not wear it behind my hairline like it is on the model.

Now let’s talk about what if you want fancy colors?

OKAY, so I know this is probably old news, but I discovered that there are pre-braided crochet braid wig caps. Look here.

Y’all, being that I can’t braid I never thought about crochet braids until I saw those. This means that I, non braiding ass me can do some crochet braid WIGS Y’ALL.

I mean you can buy pre-twisted/loc’d hair. Look. Seriously. We know you can buy synthetic hair in amazing colors so basically, this is freedom for a lot of us non braiding ass people.

So my lovelies. My fellow struggle bus naturals, we catching up.

Oh yes, yes y’all, we ALL up in it.

I encourage y’all do to some youtubeing. There are TONS of tutorials for making crochet braid wigs, on doing them in general. Etc.

That’s all darlings.

Next time, I’ll do a slow roll LOC tutorial and talk about why I am so about the protective styling.

I love y’all.

Wig Review-Janet Collection Synthetic Hair Wig Helen

Okay my loves.

If you don’t know I’m growing my hair and using wigs as a protective style. I’m a HUGE wig lover and have a wee little collection and I wanted to do some reviews.

So let us begin.

First wig up on the block is the Janet Collection Synthetic adorable bob called Helen. I got her in the shade red velvet.

(Affiliate links in this post for Amazon AND I will be adding a wig section to my Amazon store cause what dream beauty supply wouldn’t have wigs?)

Here’s how the photo looked when I first saw her:

catalog

Image of a light skinned Black woman wearing a blonde and brown bob cut wig.

Okay, so here is a secret about me. Even though I’m on my way to growing out fairytale length hair, I LOVE a good sharp bob. I don’t know what it is but nothing makes me feel all Villanous Bad Bitch than a good bob. I picked the lovely bright red with black roots ombre and here is how she looked on me.

meinhelen

Close up view of a brown skinned Black woman wearing dark brown lipstick and a black and red wig.

helen

Front facing shot of a dark brown skinned Black woman in square glasses and a black and red wig.

I KNOW my photos. Not the most awesome because my phone is hella old. Deal with it.

So right out the box I wasn’t super into the fullness of this wig. The density of the hair is fairly thinnish so I was a bit disappointed but, I think I only paid like 19 dollars or something for it so, why be mad?

The ONE thing that eventually became a deal breaker was the weird cap construction.

See here:

wigcap

Inside shot of a wig cap with two combs placed along a center part.

Okay, so here’s my issue with this. I wear wig caps and a wig slip (more on that later) if you are wearing a wig cap there’s no way to secure those combs comfortably. I tried it without my cap and wig slip on and I found it very uncomfortable and it pulled at the roots of my hair along my center part.

Also on this unit as a few other reviews I saw mentioned, the wig cap itself is a bit big. Good news if you have a poofier style underneath or if you have a big head. For me, after a few good wears it stretched out enough to be not as easily securable.

I did LOVE the color. Normally when I go for red hair I opt for more of a dark, or bloody type of red. Something blue based and deep. This color is way pinker than I’ve worn and I loved it.

So I’m going to give Helen 7/10. Beautiful color, decent hair quality. Though, I don’t go for realness. I don’t give a shit if people know it’s a wig. So if you want realness this hair was not real looking at all for people who know.

There wasn’t a whole lot of shedding and was really nice to wear for a few weeks.

Overall, if you want a good throw on style or if you want a back up wig this is a good one. This is a great wig to experiment with that cut shape or with some color.

Next time I’ll review a very popular wig and we’ll talk about how I decided I don’t mind fake ass hurr.

Natural Hair Quick Reviews.

In the interest of my own sanity I can’t talk about Orlando right now.

Instead I’ll talk about hair.

I’ve gone back to my favorite protective style and I’ve got some empty products so let’s talk about that instead.

First up, I’m a big fan of the LOC method for moisturizing. Especially now that I’m back wearing wigs it is pretty perfect.

My favorite leave in out of the half dozen or so I’ve used over the past yearish is the My DNA Leave In Conditioner. (Affiliate links in this post).  Here is the description from the Sally website:

  • Strengthens weak areas and repairs split ends
  • Promotes healthy hair growth from the follicle
  • Moisturizes deep within the hair shaft
  • Smooths and aligns cuticle layer

My DNA Leave-In Conditioner and Detangler saturates natural hair textures with intense moisture to hydrate and detangle for improved manageability. Its formula features an infusion of Monoi de Tahiti flowers to nourish and protect for shiny, healthy hair as well as stimulate the scalp and hair roots.

This product isn’t super scented and has a nice hefty spray. The bottle also features an on/off type switch so you don’t make a mess if you’re like me and accident prone. The texture is like a liquidy lotion. It provides excellent slip for my mid week detangling and is excellent after shampoo. If you low or no poo, it can leave a bit of buildup so be sure to clarify once in a while using it. Overall excellent price point (buy at Sally not amazon) and accessible to the naturalista on a budget.

For my oil I’ve used a lot of them. Straight coconut, olive oil, jojoba etc. My main concern with any product is that there is no mineral oil or petrolatum. Both of those do not agree with my hair. My budget friendly go to tends to be this African Royale Hot Six Oil. It has a nice blend of oils and a pleasant fruity scent.

For my edges and ends I am a devout user of Jamaican Black Castor oil. I can’t find my photos, but I had a legit bald spot from anxiety last year a bit bigger than the size of a quarter in the edges on my left side of my head. I religiously use JBCO on my edges nightly and damn if they aren’t back. And it protests my ends. Do not fall for bullshit get the real stuff. It has a slightly smoky odor and is a very thick oil. If you want to use it as a treatment best to cut it with conditioner or a lighter oil.

For my cream I’ve been experimenting and looking for something I love.

I have yet to find the dream product, but here are a few I’m pretty fond of. My hair likes a good heavy butter based cream.

Let’s start with the Beautiful Textures Moisture Butter Whipped Curl Creme. This has a bit of a too sweet smell for my taste, but overall it moisturizes nicely. The texture is a bit more pudding than cream, you can tell it has a good amount of water in it so it doesn’t work the best for me for sealing. I have noticed that it’s not quite heavy enough for my hair that is more of a z coil and those areas can wind up needing extra love when I use this. That said, I always have a tub of this around.

Next up the Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow and Restore Leave-In Conditioner by SheaMoisture. On one hand, I really wanted to super love this. However, it is kind of a meh for me. I found that it leaves a whitish cast on my hair and I’m not into that. I first tried it while I was bunning and noticed in the sun my hair looked coated and dull. That aside, under my wig it works fine. It’s not super.

My favorite of all time is the Oyin Whipped Pudding. Y’all..this shit right here my hair LOVES it. My pocketbook, not so much. I know pay for quality and whatnot but I just can’t afford to use it regularly.

I can’t honestly recommend going all DIY for this stuff. Personally, it’s just too expensive to buy ALL the stuff to do it myself. I know how, I just don’t have the resources.

So that said, let’s talk about some stuff that’s great to have on hand to magic up stuff or super charge conditioners and detangling and whatnot. A lot of these are also multi use and you can even get some of them at your local grocery store.

(These are not affiliate links)

Light castor oil.  Always make sure you grab the food grade. You can use this to add in to deep conditioning treatments to give them more oomph, you can take a tablespoon if you’re constipated, you can use it as a hot oil treatment, you can add it into a self made detangling mix.  I use a lot of this when I do my cowash recipe (I’ll post that next time I do it) and it is a staple in my hair stuff closet.

Coconut Oil. I am a devotee. I always use coconut oil on damp hair as a preshampoo treatment. It has worked the best for my hair. I’ve cooked with it, added a few tablespoons to some sugar and scrubbed my butt with it, I put it in cocoa when I felt kind of queasy, weird but it also seemed to help me get to sleep. I’ll have to investigate that more closely. I right now have two ginormous containers because it is kinda everything.

Tea tree mix. Now listen here. Try the mix. Straight tea tree can be irritating and too strong. Also expensive. This brand of tea tree oil mix is perfect for adding to shampoos, conditioners, using a bit on your scalp if you’re itchy. Easy to use. No fuss.Another staple I always put in my cowash mix. Also check the ethnic section at your local walgreens, walmart etc. This one is pretty easy to find.

Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar. Y’all, I confess I was super late to this party because I really hate how acv smells. I hates it precious. That said, this shit right here. God damn. I’ve used it diluted half and half with water as a between shampoo and conditioner rinse- amazing. I use it in my cowash mix. Hell yes. I wanted to say that ACV no, but damn ACV yes.

That’s pretty much it. Currently I’m keepin it pretty simple.

Later this week how about a wig review?

With some tips from somebody who can’t really braid, but my wigs are semi laid.

 

 

 

Natural Hair Struggle Bus

I’ve been fully natural probably about six years or so right now. If you don’t know when I say natural I mean my hair isn’t texturized or relaxed with chemicals.

I am what I can call without too much shame a struggle bus natural. All those gorgeous Black women you see rocking twist outs and braids and ALL the things are not me. I have a little bit of a complex but I am terrible at styling my hair. I care for it amazingly. Like, my hair is fucking amazing and gorgeous.

Styling…yeah no.

For this reason I’ve spent most of my time natural rocking various buns. When my hair was shorter, I made myself a sock bun. I’ve tried to give myself braids (FAIL), cornrow my hair (SUPER FAIL TEARS WERE INVOLVED) and tried a lot of other styles that uh…yeah no.

Here are some things I’ve learned and struggled with.

My hair is ALL the curls. From type 2 to 4 i got em. Some of my hair naturally grows with such a loose wave it is almost straight.

The above said, myhair does not fro. When I say that I’m talking a big round fro. That is what I was picturing when I first went natural. I’d forgotten the varied textures of my natural hair and thought for sure when I cut off the last of my relaxed hair, BOOM FRO.

Nope.

Also standing between me and my fro dreams is the natural part I have in my hair. It goes from the middle front to the back of my hair where I have a dramatic change in texture.

How about a little look back? This was my relaxed hair in 2007.

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My hair was breaking off, I had no idea what products were good or not. It was thinning. This was very close to me jumping off of the struggle bus and just shaving my head again. Learning how to really care for the health of my hair was just so fucking hard.

Fast forward to a week ago or so. I have been (for about five months or so) doing what’s called a protective style (my go to is wigs) and decided to blow out my hair for a good trim.

Y’all…when I say that I somehow tapped into Black Girl Magic I didn’t know was there, I tapped into it and my blowout is gorgeous.

blowout

Photo of a brown skinned topless person with their head turned. Displaying fluffy blow dried black hair.

This photo was right after i finished blowing out my hair. I wasn’t covered in broken hair. My hair was soft and big and floofy. Like, I DID IT.

As is my habit after blow drying I moisturized and wrapped it for the night. The next day i was rocking this:

fivehead

Brown person looking down. Their hair is in a high shiny black poof.

Y’all.

LOOK at my fuckin hair.

LOOK AT IT. I mean this is my actual hair and I love it so much. My edges still lay down for neither man nor product but wow.

I know my hair isn’t the giant afro of my dreams. I can’t even fuck with the people I see on the natural hair blogs and instagrams.

As much as I struggle to try and learn how to do a bantu knot out or a twist out or something with my hair, I’m learning to appreciate it on a whole new level.

I call my hair the Kraken and I do so with love. When sometimes I overhear pelo malo directed at me when I walk by the Latina hair salons in my neighborhood, or when someone asks when I’m going to “do something” with my hair or I am told that someone prefers my wigs to my real hair, I don’t give a shit.

I might be on the struggle bus and sometimes trying to teach myself to braid my hair results in tangles and tears, but god damn y’all.

I love it.

My Kraken is Good Hair.

My Kraken is difficult and prone do parting where I do not want it to part and shedding and slow ass growth but damn it, the Kraken is glorious.

Someday, my goal is to have midback length stretched hair. The kind that makes you think of Fantasy stories.

I’m gonna get there.

My next hair post, I will document my attempt to give myself yarn braids. There may be tears.