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Monday, September 26, 2011

My nails this week

Sent from my Motorola ATRIX™ 4G on AT&T

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Wiggin' it for Fall and Winter - Protective Styling

I have decided to rock wigs as my protective Fall/Winter style. Protective is basically a way of styling ones hair so that it's protected from the elements, such as the sun, coldness, wind...your hands, lol. Which can be harmful to your hair if you don't moisturize and take care of it properly. Such styles are braids, twists, cornrows, weaves, extensions, wigs, etc. It is very easy for curly, natural hair to get dried out contrary to what some people may think.

Why a Wig?

Since all summer I more or less styled my hair in the wash-n-go fashion, I get chills thinking of doing that when it's cold out. I also want to minimize the amount of time I spend playing in my hair because when I leave it alone, it grows. So this also rules out the other style I've been doing, twist-outs, because every night to keep it fresh, I re-twist it. As some of you know or can imagine, this can be time-consuming since you're in your hair at night, then again in the morning. In the past I've always used weaves to grow out my natural hair and single extensions in a deep wave style when going on vacation to Trinidad. I'm not sure if I'm going to venture down the weave route this time and the thought of sitting down to get my hair done in those tiny braids, I can't! I like the idea of wearing a wig and still being able to wash and deep treat my own hair at least once a week or even wearing my own hair when I feel like it. 

Picking My New Hair

Sooooo, now that I decided on wigs, picking one was the next step that proved to be difficult. Wow, the choices! First of all, the last time I wore a wig was about 6-7 years ago and let me tell you, there was no such thing as lace-front! Of course I've heard of them over the years and actually witnessed some hair atrocities as a result of them, but I never really paid attention when I had locs. So with lace-fronts in the mix, there really are a lot of wigs to choose from now. When I first cut my hair, I looked up a lot of them and made a list of short straight, asymetrical styles as well as some loose wave styles. This was funny to look at over this past weekend when I revisited my list because my preference has apparently changed since April. I am now looking for curly wigs, something more similar to my natural hair, an afro-curl or something with more of a tighter curl. I bought a short (nape of neck), straight human hair one with reddish highlights back then only to realize when I got home that it was just the shorter version of one I already had! I never wore either of them because I guess I was having too much fun over the summer re-discovering my natural hair. But it's Fall now and I want a change so over the weekend I did quick research online and watched some YouTube reviews, which are always helpful. I'm someone who when I decide I want to do something, I want to do it yesterday and I was ready to wear a wig for Monday! I didn't have time to order anything online, so I checked out two beauty supply stores not too far from home. While there, I confirmed that I'm not ready for lace-fronts, they're scary! I will venture down that road though, I just want to be sure that when I do it, I do it properly and don't end up looking like my hairline starts at eyebrows! Now, on my quest for my perfect wig, I had some preferences, I don't mind synthetic as long as it looks real and I find curly synthetic tends to look more realistic than straight synthetic anyway. There are actually more afro-curly styles in synthetic than human hair from what I've noticed. I also didn't want to spend an arm and a leg. This was my first wig in years, I didn't want to invest in a lace-front indian remy human hair $230 wig right away, so synthetic it was! Full-cap or 1/2 didn't matter, but I'm not too keen on the comb and I hate the drawstring. I was ready.

My Wig List

Brand: Freetress (you can look at them here, All photos courtesy of their website)

Equal Tracy

Love this one, $24.99


Love this one, $19.99
Kira Girl

Coconut Girl
More of a looser curl. This was from my original list in April

Kara Girl

Check out a YT video by NaturaLLyPreTtTy here

Brand: Vanessa, 5th Avenue

From their Express Weave Collection (1/2 cap wigs)
La Efrah <-- click the links

LOVE! $21.99
La Apple

Not available at my local bss, have to get her online
La Subin

Longer version of La Efrah
La Davin

La Jay
LOVE, but it's too big for me right now.

From their Top Lace Collection (lace-front)
Top Yaba

Top Jona

Top Decy

From original list, not really feeling it now.

From the Synthetic Wig Collection (regular full cap)

Check out a YT video by BeautyCutright here

Brand: Sensationnel

HZ 7038

Photo courtesy of

Brand: Beshe (Lace Wig)

Drew (reviewed by Taren916 on YouTube)

Photo courtesy of
Brand: It's A Wig

Swirls & Curls, Afro-Curl (human hair!)
Check out a Youtube review by colouredbeautiful here

Photo courtesy of

Recent Additions to My List

I discovered these when getting the pics for this post.
Freetress Equal Lace Front Invisible Part, Sharon

Vanessa Coco

Sensationnel HZ 7048

Photo courtesy of

My Decision

I ended up choosing one that wasn't even on my original list!  But it looked good on display at a local beauty supply store in Downtown Brooklyn.


...Introducing Vanessa Amerie from their Synthetic Wig Collection!

Errr...*womp womp* huh? Well what's funny is looking at this pic, I would have never chosen it either. As a matter of fact, I didn't even notice it on their website! But that goes to show that it always pays to try it on or just to move from in front your computer and go into a store. With a lot of curly weaves and wigs, with my own experience, the older it gets, the better it looks. And the demo in the store has been around, so it was well-used and looked fab! I chose it in the color combo 1B/33 since my bangs are that color and if I decided to pull any pieces out in the front it would match. I tried on 3 wigs, Amerie ($29.99), Vanessa La Efrah ($21.99) and the Equal Tracy ($24.99). The other two were great, just a bit too much for me right now, in length and fullness. One of them will be a future purchase though (they're very similar, I don't need both). The length of my natural hair is about the length of Amerie, just a different curl pattern and style. Baby steps ;)

My Process

I can't cornrow my own hair, so I just flat-twisted it going back, leaving a piece out in the front just in case I wanted to pull out my own hair. Since I decided not to, I did two flat-twists going to the side. This also gives a bump for the wig cap to hug and something to attach a hair pin or two to if you decide to use them. I used a closed, net wig cap. I usually choose these because it makes me feel like my scalp is breathing as opposed to the stocking cap looking one. That's just my own personal preference. This wig doesn't have a comb in the front, but it's adjustable in the back, so yesterday I put two pins in the front secured to the cap and the front twist for extra security. This morning I forgot, no biggie.

Here are pics of my Amerie:

You can see the 33 highlights in it here



Put it on, didn't do a thing

Spritzed some water and SheaMoisture Hold & Shine Spray and tousled. Notice it's more full around the crown.

You can also see it's a little more frizzy, less "perfect"

A Couple Tips:

- If you end up watching reviews on YouTube to help you decide on a wig, don't anticipate it to look the same on you as it does on the person doing the review. Factors such as head size, face shape and your general build and height can change the look of a wig. For example, certain wigs may reach past my shoulder blades and be shoulder-length on someone else, or look too poufy on me, but just right on someone else. This was proven to me when the lady helping me out at the store tried on the same wigs as me and they looked totally different on her.

As I mentioned above, curly wigs need a little manipulation to make it look more natural. Turn your head upside down and tousle it from the roots, whatever it takes, a bit of frizz is welcomed! Taking it out of the packaging and putting it on for the first time can be a little discouraging because it's flattened and looks shapeless, so have patience. If you're comfortable, use scissors to tweak it to frame your face or bring it to a hair salon for them to do it for you if you're afraid.

Buy a wig stand of some sort to keep the wig you're currently using in the state that you styled it in last, as opposed to putting it back in the packaging and flattening it. I chose a plastic one that wasn't even around back in the day. It's in the pics above where I was showing the wig right out the packaging. I've used the styrofoam head one, but those take up a bit more space so I'll give this a shot. We'll see, it can be a bit wobbly. It was $2.99.

I played with Amerie a bit yesterday morning, this is how it looked:
Sorry the flash is making the coloring on my face look weird

Everyone at work loves it and so does hubby and my 4yr old son. SCORE! ;) Actually, when I took it off last night, my son said, "Mommy, what happened to your hair?! I don't like this one!" (I just had my flat-twists exposed). He was so confused :(

Today, I did absolutely nothing with it but put it on and run out the door:

It still looks very fresh of course and it's going to be interesting watching it change as it gets older. Picture your Barbie doll when you were little, her hair starts off shiny and "perfect"...then it starts getting harder in texture, less shine and more coarse looking/feeling. That is what I want! Then I'll get rid of it when turns into a matted mess, which a lot of synthetic hair ends up doing (so expect it). I also plan on experimenting with pinning up the sides and pulling out pieces of my own hair, maybe wearing a head/hairband. I may also get another style wig (or 5!) so that I can alternate between them to extend their lives.

I'll keep putting up posts on my experiences with this wig, more tips and whenever I get a new wig.

I did two amateur YouTube videos on my Amerie, click here and here to see.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Let's talk SheaMoisture

I took advantage of the Walgreens BOGO 1/2 off SheaMoisture sale a couple weeks ago and got my order last Tuesday. So this past Saturday, I had a date with SM products. I've owned a few of their products since April when I cut my locs, but never really did an actual review. Many other bloggers have been speaking about their products since last year, so I'm late, but here's my take.

I own and love their Raw Shea Moisture Retention shampoo, it leaves my hair feeling so soft. But I decided to use their African Black Soap Deep Cleansing Shampoo this time because my scalp felt itchy...and plus I had just bought it from Target last week with the $1 off coupon :D This line smells so good, the plantain in it gives it a banana scent. It definitely left my hair squeaky feeling, so much so that I actually was afraid it would get tangled! I'm not complaining though seeing as this is what clarifying and deep cleaning shampoos are supposed to do.

I took out the excess water from my hair and applied their Raw Shea Deep Treatment Masque (new purchase) and sat under my hair steamer for about 30 mins. A lot of naturals rave about this masque, and rightly so, it feels great in the hair. Good slip and I was able to detangle well with it. This particular line has a very strong scent because of the frankincense & myrrh so it should not be compared with their Coconut & Hibiscus line...or any of the others actually. When I rinsed, I then applied their Raw Shea Restorative Conditioner (new purchase) and rinsed out. This also felt nice on the hair and I was able to detangle with no problems. My hair was soft and manageable after. Sidenote: I love the pump on their conditioners. Makes it so much easier.

I then used the ABS Dandruff & Dry Scalp Elixir on my, you guessed it, scalp. I've had this for a while now and like it. It instantly relieves itchiness for me.
As a leave-in, I used their Yucca & Aloe Thickening Growth Milk and worked it into my hair. I LOVE the smell of this!! I'm still trying to figure out if it makes my hair thicker though, all I know is my hair feels nice and smooth once applied.

As a styler I used their Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie and also worked it in by finger combing. Then I put their Hold & Shine mist in and finished with their Raw Shea Reconstructive Elixir. This Elixir is a new purchase for me after only using my cousin's once the week before. It's great!! It gives my hair the best shine and sometimes I want shine from a spray bottle rather than a squeeze bottle, especially for wash-n-go's where I don't necessarily want to mess up my curls ;) 

I let my hair air dry instead of diffusing it since I wasn't in a rush and the outcome was shiny, healthy looking hair. Thumbs up!

I must say, I was a little afraid that I would have too many fragrances in my hair since each of their lines have such strong, distinct scents. But they worked well together and even now it still smells great.

Here is whether I plan on repurchasing or not:

Raw Shea Butter Line
Moisture Retention shampoo- LOVE, repurchase.
Restorative Conditioner (new)- Not sure yet if it needs to be a repurchase since a lot of cheap drugstore conditioners also produce the same soft hair.
Deep Treatment Masque (new)- Repurchase.
Reconstructive Elixir (new)- LOVE, repurchase.

I have the complete line.

Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Line
Curl & Shine Shampoo- I have a trial size, it's good, but doesn't need to be a repurchase.
Curl Enhancing Smoothie- Repurchase, good for twist-outs and wng's.
Hold & Shine Mist- I like, but I'm thinking it's more because I love the smell and not because it's doing anything extraordinary. It's a good curl reviver, but so are a lot of other products.

I don't have the Curl & Style Milk, but will get it sometime. I keep meaning to. The Souffle is still not available in New York City, but when it is, I plan to get it.

African Black Soap Line
Deep Cleansing Shampoo (new)- I'm not sure if I need to repurchase this since I can get lower costing "clarifying" shampoos that leave my hair feeling the same squeaky way.
Purification Masque (new)- Got it yesterday so I haven't tried it yet. But I have heard it's great for co-washing.
Dandruff and Dry Scalp Elixir- I'll keep buying this one.

I don't have the conditioner, not sure if I need to try it.

Yucca & Baobab Line
Volumizing Conditioner- Doesn't have to be a repurchase.
Thickening Growth Milk- Not sure if this will be a repurchase, the bottle is kind of small and I'm not sure it's any better than other hair milks. It does have biotin though...let's just say I'm on the fence about it being a repurchase or not.
Anti-Breakage Masque- Good, but doesn't have to be a repurchase.

Don't have the shampoo, not in a big rush to get it.

The summary: Because they don't really have instructions/directions on their labels, some people are left confused, but I think it's because they're basically saying, "Use it how you want!" A little direction can't hurt though, I mean the most basic of products have instructions on how to use it.  I also think the bottles of their milks in the line should be the same size as the shampoos and conditioners especially since they are the same price (for less). Other than the "likes" I've spoken about above and below, I also like that their products are rich and thick and not watered down like some products can be.  
All in all, SheaMoisture is a good quality, natural hair line that is not costly and is readily available at Target, Walgreens and Duane Reade. Something I value because I hate paying for shipping :D When I'm done using up all the other products I've bought and been experimenting with since April, SM will definitely be a staple for me. I've mentioned it before, I don't need to spend $20-$30 on a deep treatment if I don't have to ;)

Monday, September 12, 2011

My hair today

I've been cutting my bangs more and gradually evening it out. Looks like a real fro now! Oh, and I'm makeup-less as well...actually, just a bit of mineral foundation.

Sent from my Motorola ATRIX™ 4G on AT&T

Thursday, September 1, 2011

My hair today

-Took out the left side of my hair (cornrows), probably shouldn't have done that right before work :S
-wng with SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus poo
-Condish- QH Royal Curl conditioner mixed with Garnier Pure Clean condish
-Styled with SheaMoisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie and their Mist in the same line

-Dampened hair in the shower
-Put SheaMoisture Yucca & Baobab thickening Milk throughout
-Finished with SheaMoisture's Mist
-Karen's Body Beautiful Growth Serum on my temples

Makeup is all Avon, their Caribbean Sunset eyeshadow quad is my current fav. Bronzer is by mark, blush also Avon as well as waterproof Glimmerstick eyeliner. Lips, Avon again, coral. Mascara is Maybelline. I have yet to find an Avon mascara that I am in love with.