Side Swept (Flat Twist) Updo |Hair of the Day

September 21, 2016. No fancy pictorial or tutorial today boos, just a simple “hair of the day” post. This style came off the top of the dome, when I began styling my hair and realized how much I hated one side. Enter the side swept 80’s (flat twist) updo.

Products used:

Camille Rose Naturals Curl Love Moisture Milk

Blueberry Bliss Curl Control Jelly by Curls

My hair was styled on an old wash and go. Previous products used were As I Am Leave in conditioner and Camille Rose Naturals Almond Jai Twisting Butter

sideswept updo, flat twist, natural hair, natural hair blog, coily hair, the little in jen that could blog, natural hair styles, protective styles

sideswept updo, flat twist, natural hair, natural hair blog, coily hair, the little in jen that could blog, natural hair styles, protective styles

sideswept updo, flat twist, natural hair, natural hair blog, coily hair, the little in jen that could blog, natural hair styles, protective styles

sideswept updo, flat twist, natural hair, natural hair blog, coily hair, the little in jen that could blog, natural hair styles, protective styles
sideswept updo, flat twist, natural hair, natural hair blog, coily hair, the little in jen that could blog, natural hair styles, protective styles

sideswept updo, flat twist, natural hair, natural hair blog, coily hair, the little in jen that could blog, natural hair styles, protective styles

How To Prepare Your Beauty Regimen for Fall

Fall is more than tall boots and pumpkin spiced lattes? YES!

Skin

The change in seasons means you’ll have to switch things up in your beauty regimen to keep your skin looking fresh and radiant. Granted, you can still follow a simple skincare routine, but you’ll want to incorporate a few things to ensure that your skin stays hydrated through the transition to a fall beauty regimen. Cool, dry weather can wreak havoc on your skin which is why proper exfoliation (to remove toxins and dead skin cells) and moisturizing is key.
If you’re up for a little DIY, try mixing a tiny bit of lemon juice, brown sugar, and honey to create an exfoliating facial scrub that will leave your skin glowing! Go ahead and scrub your lips too, it tastes yummy and leaves them baby soft! Follow up with your favorite moisturizer (during the day) or a bit of aloe (at night) to moisturize and calm irritation. For an added bonus, incorporate organic jojoba oil into your regimen to keep your skin fresh and hydrated. It’s super lightweight and non comedogenic so it won’t clog your pores. (Jojoba oil is one of my best kept secrets!)

Hair

How do you feel about protective styling? I once shared a love-hate relationship with doing protective styles but now they are a great option for where I am in my hair journey.  Keep in mind that the idea behind protective styling is that you are protecting your hair in effort to retain length, moisture, and overall health of your hair– which would ideally lead to hair growth. Your hair is up and out of the way so there is less manipulation, and less opportunity for tangles (just be sure to detangle before styling). When choosing a style, you want to aim for something that will compliment your lifestyle, not make it more difficult. Braids, flat twists, and buns are practical for me because they are simple to install, versatile to style, and make it easy to transition to other beautiful styles once taken down. I also love that they don’t cause stress or tension on my edges. Best of all, I know exactly how to care for my hair in these styles (spritzing with water, applying a bit of moisturizer or a little oil to seal) to keep it happy and healthy while it’s hibernating.

 

Protective styling may not be for you and I totally get that. I live in Florida and I absolutely understand the idea of wearing a wash and go year round. To that I will say two things — 1.) Why not try it? I firmly believe that incorporating some sort of protective style into my routine has only aided in my progress towards healthy hair growth. I cannot say that it caused  my hair to grow, but I can attest to my hair seeing substantial results once I did. No need to keep your hair hidden away for the entire season. You can start slowly. I tend to alternate between protective and “out” styles for a happy balance. If at this point you are one hundred percent adamant and OPPOSED to any sort of protective styling, I would remind you to — 2.) Please please layer your products to keep your strands moisturized and sealed.

This logic actually applies to your fall/winter hair regimen in general– regardless of how you are wearing it. No, I don’t want you pouring buckets of oils and butters on your hair, or weighing it down to a hot greasy mess. Whether you adhere to the L.O.C, the L.C.O, or the WHATEVER ORDER YOU CHOOSE method, you want to seal your hair to keep moisture in the strands for longer. You may want to opt for creamier, heavier products, over products with humectants like glycerin, honey, and panthenol (to name a few). Humectants are great for warm temperatures because they can pull humidity from the air and add moisture to your hair, but will have adverse effects in cooler temperatures, as it pulls dry air and harsh elements, causing it to dry out your hair. If you plan on using an oil to “seal” the moisture into your hair, do your research to see which are best for sealing versus those that penetrate the hair shaft and will dry/evaporate quicker. My favorite sealing oils are jojoba oil and almond oil.

 

I don’t want assume that this goes without saying– DEEP CONDITION REGULARLY.  Now more than ever, we want to establish (and consistently follow) this healthy hair practice to keep our hair hydrated, moisturized, and healthy. As a curly with low porosity hair, the optimal way to deep condition my hair is with heat; there’s no other way to go about it. I’ll admit that it’s hard to consciously sit down for 15 to 30 minutes with two littles and an overwhelming amount of responsibilities, but please believe me when I tell you it’s completely worth it. Since making this commitment to myself to do this every time I wash, I’ve noticed an immediate difference in the way my hair looks, feels, and performs. You owe this to yourself. DEEP CONDITION!

Now that we have those bases covered, smile big because we’re a step closer to conquering the hell out of this season. Happy fall ya’ll. I’m wishing you glowy skin and juicy curls. Don’t forget to share this post with a friend who you think could benefit from it too!

Share your fall beauty regimen and inspiration below! Xo.

 

Why I love the Blueberry Bliss Curl Control Jelly (Review and Demo)

Boy do I have a treat for you today! If you’ve been a fly on the world in the natural/curly community you’ve seen the Blueberry Bliss line by Curls. I had no intention to try the products until my friend put me on and said she loves it. I’ve been asked how I style my wash and go’s, so along with this product review is a demo of styling– specifically applying products– in sections. I find that this way of styling aids in defining my curls, and it really allows me to preserve my wash and go for longer. As always, my written review can be found below but if you have a moment, this is a review worth watching!

The good: This product hit it out of the park for me. It’s by far one of my favorite products that I’ve tried from the Curls line. This curl jelly has quite the list of amazing qualities, from it’s blueberry fragrance, to it’s all natural ingredients (even boasting hydrogenated castor oil) and the fact that it applies in a very fluid, silky way. It isn’t so thin that it dissipates in your hair, but not so thick that it would weigh it down. If a gel and a serum had a blue baby, this would be it!

The bad: I thought long and hard about this one, and I can honestly say that the price point is the only shortcoming– if you consider it to be such. I know paying 17.99 (retail price at Target) for a gel/styling product can be steep, but it’s actually less expensive than one of my favorite natural gels. For me, the natural ingredients and the quality that this product promises are worth the investment. I’m just praying that I don’t get too excited and fly through the bottle super quickly because I still want it to last a while. The consistency is light and thin which worries me that I’ll have to use more for styling than I would a heavier custard or jelly like Curlmaker by Camille Rose Naturals– so that’s definitely something that I’ll need to monitor.

The truth: Boos, this curl jelly is a keeper! I love that it’s lightweight and easy to apply, but still has just enough hold to keep my curls in tact. In the video above, I was rocking a wash and go that had been styled 4 days prior to filming. I had body (also from stretching my hair overnight) but I didn’t have to sacrifice definition to achieve it.

I’m so happy that I was convinced to try this by my friend!

Have you tried blueberries for your hair? 

My Favorite Black Owned Hair Companies

In no particular order, here is a list of my favorite Black owned hair companies. I wanted to compile a list of brands that I have had experience with (I actually use products from each of the brands mentioned) but I would love to know what other brands are worthy of being added. Please comment below with your favorites, as I’d love share and learn. I’m also on the hunt for affordable Black owned makeup brands. I will be updating this post– adding information and links– so be sure to bookmark and share this post for reference!

 

Camille Rose Naturals– This is a given. If you know me, you know my love for Camille Rose Naturals runs deep. I can’t pinpoint one particular product that I love the most because they really have so much quality in their catalog. From my staple, Almond Jai Twisting Butter to Curl Maker and every delicious butter, hair milk, and cleansing rinse in between- I love their products. I love supporting this company because they really are a great all around brand.

Curl Junkie– Some of my favorite products (and some of the first products I’ve used since going natural) are from Curl Junkie. The Curl Rehab deep conditioner from this brand is my staple moisturizing treatment, and it isn’t going anywhere any time soon. I was surprised to learn that Curl Junkie is Black owned, but super excited because I’ve already been supporting them for so long. Their products are legitamately wonderful and if you haven’t already, I definitely recommend trying them.

Mielle Organics– I am currently having a love affair with their Avocado hair milk. If you haven’t checked out my early reviews of Mielle Organics (the hair milk and a protein deep conditioner), please head over. They just released a kids line of products that I’m stalking  interested in trying, and I encourage you to try a few as well. The incentive is that their products– just as Camille Rose Naturals– are all natural!

Eden Bodyworks- I LOVE their Coco Shea Berry Curly Creme from their kids line! (I rave more about it in my healthy hair care for kids video.) I have a few of their products in my stash that I’ve been rotating in J’s wash regimen and I’ve liked everything we’ve tried so far. (Their Jojoba All Natural Deep Conditioner— a best seller– is on my wish list.) Best of all, they too boast natural ingredients. They smell delicious, they are affordable and easily accessible, and I love their backstory!

Kinky CurlyKnot Today. Come Clean. Kinky Curly Curling Custard. Lord, I love Kinky Curly Products. I can’t even begin to describe how great this brand is. And they are also easily accesible. Get you some!

As I Am – I’ve only tried ONE product from this brand, and I’m confident in saying that it is one of my favorite brands. This is a big deal for me. I love that the As I Am products are easily accesible, which makes it that much easier to make the transition in replacing products that you may grab from the drugstore. This brand too, boasts all natural ingredients.

Shea Moisture– Do I even need to explain why this brand made the list? Aside from the wonderful products that they produce, I love what Shea Moisture does for the community. I love the message they endorse, and I love what they represent. Have you heard of their “Break the walls” campaign yet? It is so inspiring, and it’s about damn time. I love them for this. I’ve been known to say that my hair has a “love-hate” relationship with their products, but I actually love them for my daughter’s hair. We all (everyone in my house) lives for the Manuka Honey Masque, and I don’t know what I would do without it!

 

Are you supporting Black owned brands? Share!!

 

Be sure to check out:

10 Black Owned Beauty and Cosmetic Companies according to Clutch magazine

34 Black Owned Companies in the Cosmetics Industry, Black Girl Long Hair

15 Black Owned Beauty Brands to get Familiar With by Refinery 29

How to Preserve a Wash and Go Overnight/ Stretch a Wash and Go (For short hair)

Hey loves! This is a pretty straight forward pictorial. This is my preferred method of stretching my wash and go and preserving it overnight, 1.) because it’s simple 2.) it eliminates the need to use heat to stretch my hair 3.) it’s less stress on my hair.

Depending on the products that I use, I’m usually able to do this 3-4 nights in a row (after rocking a day one wash and go) and as each day passes, my hair gets fuller and more voluminous. I love this hack!

Enjoy!

 

  1. Grab sections of your hair (the shorter your hair, the more sections you’ll need) and wrap a hair tie around them. I don’t part my hair because I don’t want to encourage straight lines forming. It’s not cute when you’re fluffing the next day. Just grab sections of hair and band it. Keep in mind, the tighter your hair band the more your hair will stretch, but you also risk creating bends in your hair. I usually wrap the hair tie around once for large parts of hair (on the sides) and twice for the top. (This is only because I usually end up with less hair there.)

The little in jen that could blog, natural hair, curly hair, stretched curly hair, How to Preserve Wash and Go Overnight/ Stretch a Wash and Go (For short hair)

The little in jen that could blog, natural hair, curly hair, stretched curly hair, How to Preserve Wash and Go Overnight/ Stretch a Wash and Go (For short hair) The little in jen that could blog, natural hair, curly hair, stretched curly hair, How to Preserve Wash and Go Overnight/ Stretch a Wash and Go (For short hair) The little in jen that could blog, natural hair, curly hair, stretched curly hair, How to Preserve Wash and Go Overnight/ Stretch a Wash and Go (For short hair)

2. The next morning (or hours later), remove the hair bands.

Shake.

The little in jen that could blog, natural hair, curly hair, stretched curly hair, How to Preserve Wash and Go Overnight/ Stretch a Wash and Go (For short hair)

Fluff.

 

The little in jen that could blog, natural hair, curly hair, stretched curly hair, How to Preserve Wash and Go Overnight/ Stretch a Wash and Go (For short hair)

The little in jen that could blog, natural hair, curly hair, stretched curly hair, How to Preserve Wash and Go Overnight/ Stretch a Wash and Go (For short hair)

The little in jen that could blog, natural hair, curly hair, stretched curly hair, How to Preserve Wash and Go Overnight/ Stretch a Wash and Go (For short hair)

The little in jen that could blog, natural hair, curly hair, stretched curly hair, How to Preserve Wash and Go Overnight/ Stretch a Wash and Go (For short hair)

The little in jen that could blog, natural hair, curly hair, stretched curly hair, How to Preserve Wash and Go Overnight/ Stretch a Wash and Go (For short hair)

 

… and keep it movin’!

The little in jen that could blog, natural hair, curly hair, stretched curly hair, How to Preserve Wash and Go Overnight/ Stretch a Wash and Go (For short hair)

 

Knowledge is power. Knowledge is beauty. Stay beautiful loves!

Lost in Motherhood and Embracing New Adventures

Facebook sent me a memory notification today. Seven years ago today I updated my Facebook status to let everyone know that I had just made it to Korea. I traveled there to spend– what I know now to be– an amazing year teaching English and traveling throughout parts of Asia including South Korea, Taiwan and Japan. It took me back to the old Jen, one that loved adventure, and everything that came with it. The memories. The sense of feeling liberated and accomplished. The beauty in exploring new things. The love. It took me back to when I had such a sense of freedom. These were without a doubt (after my adventures in motherhood) the best times of my life.

waterfall in Korea with Avril, the little in jen that could blog

Reading that post made me sad and inspired me, simultaneously. It awakened a part of me that I thought for sure had died when I became a more “responsible” adult with children to care for, and no time or money to do such things. Somehow life had shifted and while I was killing the game in the momming department, I was forsaking myself and losing myself day by day, moment by moment. Yet, I would look back on photos and videos, proud of how far I had ventured and accomplished, but realizing that I’d probably never reach that level of carefree happiness again.

I’d been so busy dreaming of reliving those years that I didn’t see the possibility of embracing these new dimensions of my life and bringing more of myself into my relationships with my family. Being a mother didn’t mean I couldn’t travel and explore, and introduce this world to my children.

I want to show my children a world of adventure. This is who I am. Beyond playgrounds, theme parks, and ice cream shops. I want to explore waterfalls and hidden gems. I want to travel and explore, and I want to make beautiful memories in places beyond our comfort zone. Why should this stop because I am a mother? Why do I need to call for help if I want a vacation? (Aside from mommy time, and a couples retreat, of course.) For so long I’ve been enslaving myself mentally because of other people’s perspective of traveling. Adhering to the norm or settling for agendas because my spouse doesn’t like this, or my kids aren’t old enough to appreciate that. “It costs money to do ___” or ” When will we get the time off to ___?” I’m tired of hearing that. I’m tired to giving people and circumstances power over my happiness. My goals. My adventures. My life. This ends today.

I had a revelation, and I’ve come to a turning point.

I’m starting with myself. I’m starting with where I am, and what I can do. I’ve come to the realization that I  haven’t been capitalizing off of my free time the way that I should. I’m not paralyzed by my circumstances, I’m blessed by them. I have this opportunity to create something beautiful. I have this chance to explore, spend quality time with my children, and embrace lasting, teachable, beautiful moments by combining all of the above. I have the time, and I’ll have to create the energy. Is it rough trying to “get up and go” with two small children? Hell yeah. But I will have to continue to pray for strength, patience, and growth. And woosah the hell out of my days. I’ll have to remind myself that even though I’m drained, exhausted, frustrated, and bent all out of shape– that I’d much rather expel these emotions for my children than an employer, any day of the week. And I’ll have to remind myself that when I’m getting these waves and feeling overwhelmed, that indeed it is time for adventure. To get the hell out.

beach, park, adventures in motherhood, lost in motherhood, the little in jen that could blog, mommy blog

I’m delving into ideas and I can’t wait to get my palette wet. I am an adventurer. That’s who I am and that’s who I am proud to be. I can’t wait to explore beyond these walls with my children.

 

If you have any ideas for family vacations, traveling on a budget or free to low cost adventures, please share them below!

What I Learned From Post Partum Shedding

I started to notice how bad my hair fall was when my son turned 3 months. That’s textbook according to when post partum shedding usually begins, and it scared the hell out of me. I’m not talking about hair shedding during a detangling session. I mean hair is literally sitting on top of itself, waiting to be touched before it falls to the floor. I would run my fingers over (notice I said over, not through) my hair while washing, and I’d have hair covering them.

I remember having a breakdown one morning at 4am and making the decision to chop my hair off in an attempt to “heal” it. I had no idea what I was experiencing was normal; I figured I must have been doing something wrong. I must have been using the wrong products, or not deep conditioning enough (guilty). More importantly, I thought my hair shedding may have been a sign of a deeper internal problem or health crisis. My hair was thriving and blossoming during my pregnancy, why was it all of a sudden coming out in clumps?

I was scared. I was sad. I was embarrassed.

I researched and I found a lot of insightful, helpful information. I’ve taken away great advice about the do’s and don’t during this trying time (i.e., don’t over manipulate your hair, do deep condition, don’t stress, do continue to take your prenatal vitamins and eat healthy) and I’m waiting desperately for this stage to pass. I came across this article on Simone Digital and I swear I love this perspective. It lightened the mood for me, and it was at that moment that I put on my big girl pants and said “Ok, I’m ready to attack this.”

This is an unusual type of post being that I’m posting during an experience rather than after it, in hopes of giving advice. I’m still researching, hoping, praying, and freaking out every time I wash my hair. I find myself somewhere between happy that I’m taking better care of my hair and sad that I didn’t realize what was going on before hacking off my hair. Yes, it’s just hair. Yes, it grows back. But hell, I want it back NOW.

What I can say is that this twisted setback is teaching me to be patient with my hair and take better care of it. I’m on week 3 of weekly deep conditioning and focusing on moisture retention, and I’ve noticed that the amount of shedding has decreased a bit. I’ve learned that curl creams may be better alternatives to the thicker gels I’ve been using for my wash and go’s because they cause less friction. I’ve learned that deep conditioning with heat on a weekly basis is not optional. I’ve learned that I have to pay attention to what I do to my hair and what goes in it. And through it all, I’m learning to treat the hair on my hair ever so delicately because the goal is to keep it there!

 

What are your tips for length retention and healthy growth? Do share!

P.S. I can’t wait to get these healthy locks back!

post partum shedding, the little in jen that could blog, natural hair, hair shedding

post partum shedding, the little in jen that could blog