Protective Stylin’

Yep, I’ve done it again. Stopped by my local Beauty supply store, picked up 4 packs of Marley braid hair (Freetress brand to be exact) and installed a head full of Marley twists.
Lately I’ve been swamped to my neck with assignments and presentations, and my well of reserve energy has officially run dry. I no longer possess the drive time to style my hair daily.
To save myself and my beloved strands the misery, this protective style couldn’t have come at a better time.

Of course I started with freshly washed, deep conditioned and sealed strands.

What do you do when the daily styling seem a bit much?

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Project Giveaway

Attention loves!!

I have partnered with some fellow bloggers to help host a giveaway!

Check out the details and instructions below. Don’t miss out on an easy opportunity to win some CASH!!



KimberlyLuxe // Maybe Baby // A Lovely Day BR // GG Renee



Mackensie G // Femmes With Benefits // Love, Darbie // Elle To Elle



RC // The Urban Umbrella // Aphrodite Kinks // Call Her Courtnee



Never Jaded // Work It Out Girl // Fendi Bag & A Bad Attitude // Carmen Vogue



ThinkFeminist // Memoirs Of The Chic // Mylah

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We’re hosting a giveaway! And 2 Lucky Girls will win $100 each! This giveaway requires one simple mandatory task: [1] comment below with what you’d do with the money, [2] then enter the rafflecopter using your facebook login or your email address to submit your entry! And if you have a few extra minutes to spare, you can submit multiple entries by completing some super simple tasks! And you’re not limited to one entry, you can submit up to 27 entries! The giveaway closes on the 1st of April and the two winners will be announced and contacted on the 7th! Who knows, in two weeks you may just be $100 richer. You have nothing to lose, and $100 to gain!

1 Mandatory Easy Submission | Simply comment on this post with what you’d do with the money & then enter into RaffleCopter!

Quick Way To Follow Blogs | Log into blogger > Go to your blogger dashboard (blogger home page) > Click “ADD” under “Reading List” > Paste link to blog you wish to follow > Click Follow!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

It’s my Anniversary!!!!

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Today is THE day. One year ago, I stood in the bathroom, scissors in tow and have myself the best thing I could’ve throughout my journey— a FRESH START! I chopped all my hair off, approximately 8-10 inches and started from scratch. The comfort I once had was gone, and it was just Me, Myself, and my TWA.

Fast forward to today, I do not regret my decision. My hair has flourished and I couldn’t be more proud. I remained dedicated and consistent, making changes when needed. However this time around, I actually got to authentically experience every step in this journey. I appreciate my mistakes because it brought me back to a place in which I am truly happy with myself. I love who I am, and my hair is just a mere expression of that joy.

My goals for my next year include:
Length retention, incorporating more protective styles, and most importantly, I want to ENJOY my hair. And I mean, thoroughly enjoy it. I no longer want to be a prisoner of my kinks.

I thank everyone for the support. Your stories, journeys, and openness to allow me to inspire has truly kept me going.

Success doesn’t come from you doing everything right, but you must be willing to accept and change that what’s wrong.

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Bantu Knot Out

I love curls. Whether they are man-made or naturally created, I’m always in awe of a nice head of curls. Over the Christmas break, I stretched my hair and deemed it the best time to Bantu Knot my hair. If you are unfamiliar with what a Bantu knot is, it is a knot formed by coiling your hair in a semi-taut knot, in which the end result is a well defined curl. This style is great for any hair length, but the longer your hair, the more of a spiral curl you’ll achieve. Remember, the smaller the knot, the more defined the curl, so choose your sections wisely!

Materials Needed:
•Styling creme of your choice. I used whipped shea butter or Miss Jessie’s Curly Buttercreme
•Detangling tool
•Bobbi Pins
• Afro pic

•Separate hair into workable sections.
• Detangle. I prefer to begin by flat twisting a workable section. This helps to stretch my hair and keep my roots smooth. You may two strand twist, or roll the hair instead.

•Next begin coiling the hair onto itself. It will begin to buckle.

•Wrap the hair around to form a knot. Bobbi pin into place, or tuck loose hair under the created knot.

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•Repeat until entire head is done. Allow to dry and set.

•To take down, undo the knot and unravel each twist carefully. Fluff any parts with your afro pic.

Depending on the product you used to style, the hold will vary.

Check out the Video Tutorial

*Whipped Shea

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*MJ Curly Buttercreme + Blended Beauty Happy Nappy Styles

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Five Tips on Making Your Natural Journey Last

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Of my three years and counting of my natural journey, I have encountered multiple people who are discouraged by their natural hair journey. So discouraged that many are considering to relax their hair again (which is completely your choice and okay) but if the reasoning is tainted because of discouragement or something along those lines, it can be a little saddening. So for those struggling naturalistas out there, I wanted to give you a few tips on how to push through and make your natural journey LAST.

1. Your Natural journey is YOURS. It is unique to you. Your progress, results, hair, etc will all be YOU-specific. Yes there will always be someone with a similar story or experience, but embrace your uniqueness. Don’t spend time beating yourself up over what you don’t have, and envying those who do. Admiration is 100% A-okay, however Envy is another story. It’s not a deadly sin just because. It’s destructive. Don’t fall victim.

2. Educate. Many times we get discouraged when we don’t know how to care for our hair. When once we learn how to do so properly, our journey becomes THAT much easier. There is a wealth of information on caring for your hair. Which means there’s NO excuse. Lets take advantage!

3. Positivity. Surround yourself around it. Those who uplift you should be the only ones truly allowed in your circle. Of course everyone may not agree with your decision and/or like your hair, which is OK. Just let them know their negative comments are not needed. Sooner than later, they will have to EAT their words…They always do.

4. Be prepared. Natural Hair maintenance can be a bit much at times, so it’s always good to have a regimen that caters to your schedule set in place. And when it comes to hair styling, it should be no different. We all have bad hair days, that are normally occurring at the most inconvenient times. That’s why we should find at least one staple, go to style to rely on. It’ll save you much trouble. Trust me.

5. Confidence. You HAVE to have confidence. It is the most beautiful thing a women can wear, and there’s really nothing more powerful than a woman with natural hair exuding confidence. It never goes unnoticed.

So do yourself a favor, pick up your head and smile, all while putting your best foot forward.

Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart. – Kahlil Gibran

Peace, Love, and Inspiration.

How to Blow Out Natural Hair

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Sometimes we want a break from the shrinkage. Especially myself. During the winter months, I normally opt for more stretched styles. Keeping your natural hair stretched can help aid in length retention by reducing knotting and tangling. There are different ways, including heat free alternatives, that you can use to stretch your natural hair. Here is how I stretch my hair using the Blow Out method.

Products used:
•Andis Ceramic Ionic Styler (using the wide tooth attachment)
•Tresemme Thermal Control Heat Tamer Spray
•Elasta QP H Two Leave in Spray
•Hair Clips

I you decide to use an oil to blow out your hair, try to use a light oil, such as grape seed oil, which is a natural heat protectant, and only use a minimum amount. It is normally the oil that causes your hair to burn first and quickly, resulting in damage.

The Process:
I began with freshly washed and deep conditioned hair. With previously detangled and sectioned hair, I applied Elasta QP leave in conditioner, followed by the Tresemme Heat Tamer Spray. Smooth the product through and begin the blow dry process on the Medium Heat Setting. The Andis blow dryer makes it very easy to work through your DETANGLED hair. I applied most of the heat to the length of my hair, leaving the ends for last to prevent any excessive drying out.

Following the blow out, I applied a little whipped Shea Butter to my hair and ends, to seal and protect, then two-strand twisted my hair until I could decide how I was going to style all this hair of mine!

This tutorial is also on YouTube. Watch it here!

I was truly feeeeeeelllllliiiiinnnngggg myself. I loved it! Praying I don’t get addicted!

But in other news… Happy Holidays!!
See y’all in 2013!!!!!

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DIY| Bentonite Clay Hair Detox Mask

There’s nothing better than letting the Mixtress in you shine. At times I get tired of trying new store bought products, my product junkyism begins to crave for something new. Something fresh. Something homemade.
On my last wash day, I decided to prepare my very own Bentonite Clay mask.

I used the Bentonite Clay Mixture as my cleanser and conditioner, after a pre-poo conditioning treatment using Aubrey Organics GPB Conditioner.

What you need:
Plastic bowl and spoon
1 cup of Bentonite Clay
Flaxseed Gel made from 1/3 cup of boiled flaxseeds
1/4 cup of Aloe Vera Juice, Apple cider vinegar, and water
2 table spoons of coconut and castor oil
Few drops of vitamin E oil

The Process:
After all ingredients are blended into a smooth yet thick and creamy consistency,
•Dampen hair for easy distribution. Section if necessary.
• Apply the clay mix to your hair from scalp to tip. Smooth thoroughly.

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•Once entire hair is completely saturated, cover with a plastic cap. Leave mixture on for 45 minutes at least.
• Rinse with warm to cool water. Scrub scalp with finger pads and help smooth water through hair to get a clean, thorough rinse.

Because of the Flaxseed Gel and moisturizing additions, the clay mixture did not harden on my hair during the wait time. My curls were undeniably soft and poppin! The definition I had product free was CRAY. My hair normally is a shrunken fro after rinsing and air drying, but my curls were stretched and defined. Detangling afterwards was a breeze. No conditioning step required.
I followed up with my normal leave in conditioner and sealed with an oil. My hair retained moisture very well and 2 weeks in I haven’t had a problem with dry hair!
As for my scalp: Although I still get some itching, it is almost non existent. Days have passed when I don’t scratch at all, and I have Marley Twists installed, which is a major plus!

Here is a pic of my hair product free, freshly rinsed.

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See what I was talking about?!! Bentonite Clay gave me L.I.F.E.

UPDATE: I used it again after taking out my second set of twists and it’s still amazing. Since I have no intention of loading my strands with gel and products anytime soon, I will begin doing the mask every 6-8 weeks for a thorough detox!

Have you tried a Clay mix before? What were your results?!

Skinny Girls Eat

I would call this a weightloss journey, but there is no weight to be lost. I could call it a fitness documentary, but it’s much more than that. It’s just about me, and my perspective of where I should be.

This isn’t a chronicle of me sapping about how I want to be something someone that I’m not. I am bringing light, that contrary to popular belief, Skinny Girls EAT. Society, myself included, we are so misconstrued. We believe since one is a skinny girl, she can eat whatever she wants. Oh and exercise? For what?!

But I am 21 years old and counting. I know better. People take one look at me, and assume that I am in shape. I wish that was the case, because lets be real, I am not. Even I, drool over the women on the covers of the magazine, the ones at the gym who have the confidence to show up in only a sports bra, the men and women who have the endurance and drive to even complete a workout. I am none of those people. I want to be, and I have tried… But I always give up. Secretly, I tell myself it’s okay, because I still “look” good; I have time. But as the old wives’ tale says, “Its what’s on the inside that counts.” It doesn’t matter how I look on the outside, it’s the inside that determines all things. Fortunately, I have noticed this now. I have seen the changes in my body, I have lusted over the physiques of others way to long. I am going to do something about it.

I’ve decided to change my lifestyle for the better. I will transform my body to where it SHOULD be. I am in control. But it’s not the food that is the enemy, its myself. I plan to change my perspective of skinny. Hopefully, along the way some of you will too, because I will most definitely bring you along for the ride.

Cheers to living a healthier lifestyle, getting fit, all while embracing my skinny.

Be on the lookout for workout tips, motivation, updates on my journey, recipes and more. I could never be more ready. All can be found under the Skinny Girls Eat Category. See you there!

Peace, Love and all things SKINNY ❤
Day

Product Review| Clear Ultra Shea Shampoo and Conditioner

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In my November CurlBox, I received the Clear Hair and Scalp Therapy Ultra Shea samples of Shampoo and Conditioner. I am most definitely a conditioner girl, so I am always excited to receive conditioners with my monthly subscription.The shampoo and conditioner came in a travel (sample) size, each being 1.7fl oz.

CLAIMS:
•provide scalp nourishment for relaxed & natural hair
•helps quench dryness and locks in moisture
•cleanse, smooth, and nourish hair & scalp

Both smell reminiscent of Aussie Moist Conditioner. They have a light, perfumy smell, that dissapates after washing.

I thoroughly enjoyed using these two products together. The shampoo was very gentle on my hair, even though it does contain sulfates (Sodium Laureth Sulfate;second ingredient). I applied it onto my scalp only, using my finger pads to distribute then applying the excess to the length of my hair. After rinsing with warm water, my hair was remained very soft and manageable, and my scalp was free of buildup.

Because the shampoo was very gentle on my hair, it made the conditioning step very easy. I was able to lightly finger detangle as normal, and the tangles were easily dissovled from my hair. It has a thick, rich consistency, but privided good slip and was easily to apply throughout my hair.

After rinsing both products, my hair was left clean and moisturized. My normally itchy scalp remained relatively calm, however, the itch did not go away completly. The shampoo will probably last me, at minimum, 3 more washes, because a little goes a long way, and I may have 1 more use from the conditioner. I will definitely seek the full size products soon!

Unfortunately, these products are not “Curly Girl Friendly”. Sorry guys!

I give the Shampoo and Conditioner working alone a 3. They were nothing special, but together working as a pair they can do some damage! The good kind though! I give the pair a score of 4.

Have you given these products a try? What are your thoughts?

Raven is a Naturalista!

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How long have you been natural/ transitioning. Did you Big Chop or Transition?
I have been transitioning since December of 2011 through February 2012 and I’ve been (fully) natural since April where I also did my BC.

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What were your go to styles and products while transitioning?

My go to styles while I was transitioning would be Bantu knots and two strand twists. The products I used for my transitioning phase were Jamaican Mango and Lime Transition Natural Coiling Creme Pudding, and Ultra Care Coconut, Avocado, and Castor Oil Rich Serum.

What have you found out since being natural?(What have you learned while transitioning) that you didn’t know before?
Since being natural I’ve learned that its very time consuming when you are first learning the in and outs as far as finding the right products, styles, and hair care regimen to stick to. I didn’t discover anything new that I wasn’t already aware of during my transitioning phase.

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How would you describe your hair? What do you love most about it?

My hair was confused at one point in time because the curl pattern was still in the process of taking shape. it would be very curly in the back, straight in the middle, and do God knows what in the front lol. My hair is very versatile to say the least it is also extremely thick and springy, but what I love most about it are the coils that form when it’s wet and how soft it has become.

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What are your favorite products?
My favorite products are Nexxus Therappe’ Moisturizing Shampoo, and Humectress Moisture Conditioner, African Pride Olive Miracle Leave In Conditioner, African Pride Shea Butter Miracle Bouncy Curl Pudding, Eco Styler Olive Oil Gel, Eden Body Works Peppermint Tea Tree Oil, Folicure Leave-In Conditioner (mixed w/ water for my spray bottle), Artisana Coconut Oil, and Cantu Shea Butter Curling Cream.

What is your hair care routine?
I start my day by taking Biotin pills twice a day, and I lightly spray my hair each morning with water mixed w/ my Folicure Leave-In Conditioner and put Coconut Oil in my hair and massage it down to the roots to the ends. By the end of the week I wash my hair with the Nexxus Shampoo and Conditioner and after I wash, I add the Coconut Oil to my hair and massage it into my scalp and two strand twist my hair using the Cantu Shea Butter Curling Cream and take them down the next morning repeating the process all over again.

If you could do it all over again what would you do differently?

If I could do it all over again I would have waited for my natural hair to grow a little longer during my transitioning phase and worn sew-ins using the Natural Hair instead of the Straight hair just so I could have the “big hair” look.

A word of advice to any newly naturalista/transitioner?

My advice to the new naturalistas and transitioners out there would be to GO FOR IT! Don’t worry about what people will have to say about your new look the feeling you will get from becoming natural is a liberating experience. Though in my opinion, it will take a little more time doing your hair and getting your day started but its well worth it in the end.