Finally, my "Hot FIRE" Braid Out

**UPDATED** I obviously have some serious computer issues since it takes a couple times for me to download them right :-x
Last time I blogged, I ranted about a FABULOUS braid-out that I did. are the pics...
Day 1
**Excuse my facial expression, lol @ me trying to be fierce.
Day 2

You can see that my Day 2 braid-out is much more shrunken than my Day 1 braid-out.  Probably due to the fact that I shower without a cap and the moisture causes it to draw up.  The picture doesn't do this style justice, it was big and SO CUTE!  I kept this style for 2.5 days, anymore leads to crazy knots for me, the style also shrinks as I move along.

Tutorial: Plat A LOT (idk the exact number, at least 40) braids, (I kept them in for a week) take them out, fluff with your favorite moisturizer.

This winter weather is making it extremely hard to maintain moisture.  As long as I'm not going out, I'm keeping my hair in protective styles.

I'm Back & Have Lots to Share!!!

**UPDATED, the pics didn't show up the first time, you should be able to see them now***
I had to take a brief break from posting due to the craziness that normally comes in the beginning of a year.  I think I'm on a regular schedule now so I'm back to blogging...

Last time I wrote, I discussed hair goals for 2010.  I've tried a couple of different hairstyles since then b/c I needed to spice things up in my life!  Check them out:

Cinnabun style on twist-out hair

 Here's a link to my original Cinnabun post.  I added a headband to the front this time.

Kiddie-inspired style from Texture Playground.




Here's a direct link to the original style for which this was inspired by.  If you have a little one, the original link has a handful of style options for kids, check it out!

If you're a "big girl" like me, you may be wondering why I'm using a kiddie-style for my hair.  Well...I think we have more creativity in our hair styling with our little ones than we do with ourselves.  Granted some of the styles are "young" but I would argue that we can morph them into adult-appropro styles.  That's what I tried to do with this style.  I think I did well!

"Tutorial:" Plat two medium size twists in the front.  Plat two braids on the side of your head (near the temple and above the ear) and pin them back with a bobby pin.  Plat 7-10 twists in the back section.  Pin them with bobby pins to make an 'X'.  VOILA!  Add a clip/pin for decoration (optional).

You can pin the twists in the back however you want.  Try a bun, fold them into a cool shape/design.  Be creative!  Depending on your hair's length you may have more options with what to do with the back section, the 'X' was my best option for my hair's length.

I will gradually update this with the other styles I've been sporting.  I have a FIERCE, FIERCE braidout on its way!!!

Hair Bi-Polarization: Goals for 2010

OK everyone, for myself and followers, let me make it clear: I love having natural hair. I love the freedom from chemicals, displaying the beauty of my heritage and the individuality. Yesterday I was so frustrated with my hair, I thought about locking it again.

*If you didn't know, I did a big chop in July and started locking my hair in September, I combed out my locks with lots of water and conditioner in May to explore free-strand naturalness*

Last night I returned home from a late meeting and washed my hair with the intentions of starting to lock my hair - I was going to palm roll it. When I started rolling my hair I noticed a significant length gain from when I first combed out my locks. That's when I realized that length gain on MY HAIR is not easily noticeable. My shrinkage is sincere. It masks any length gain I may have experienced. Also, significant length gain is most noticeable over time. Thus, I'm going to give myself 6 more months of my free-strand naturalness to truly monitor my hair's growth. If I don't see significant progress, I will return to locks.  Here's my first length check picture after a fresh ACV rinse & co-wash:

January 2010 - Front
January 2010 - Back

Do you see the shrinkage on my hair? My shrinkage is probably 75% here, SMH.  However, when I look at my stretched hair I see growth. Also, when I compare pictures - I see growth (about 6.5" over 16 months OR 0.4"/month). *Hair is supposed to grow on average 0.5"/month* This is a pic of me from August 2008.

August 2008 - TWA
CLEARLY I've experienced growth in the past year and I cut/trimmed 3 times! I just have to remember how springy and shrinkage-loving my coils are. That way I don't get discouraged when I see no change when I look in the mirror. Despite what I see my hair is growing! Here are my Hair Goals for 2010:

1. Stick to a known regimen - this goes for products and regimen. Don't try to many new things as the old stuff is working well
2. Trim only when necessary
3. Focus on protective styling
4. Be gentle when taking DOWN protective styles *A friend suggested to oil hair when taking down twists/braids to give more 'slip' to the hair as I know my hair forms knots when I take my twists down, think lubrication*
5. Have fun! Natural hair is fun, thus, I should still experiment with cute styles

Natural Hair is like a Marathon

Do you ever feel like you're running a continual race? By continual, I mean a race with no finish line. You're running and progressing and you think you're almost at the end AND THEN you realize that you've only just begun.  Well, that's where I feel I am with my natural hair. I've come a long way, but I'm still just at the beginning of my journey. I'm getting tired...AGAIN (i.e. I'm going to start locs for myself this weekend).

Those of you who know me know that I am very impatient when it comes to my hair. I just want it to grow like white people's weeds.  I'm at a point again where I have little fairy knots at my ends and I don't know what to do. I keep it moisturized, clean and stylish, but my hair continues to outwit me. It's as if it has its own personality, or almost as if my hair has an alter ego. I wish I could talk to my hair and say: "What the feezy HAIR? Why don't you just grow? Stop knotting at the ends and absorb all of the goods oils and conditioner I give you and grow."

Unfortunately, hair doesn't talk or listen, so I'm just stuck with continuing this marathon-like race with it...hopefully I figure out what it needs. SIGH.